Timeline of Marlborough Voting
We here at Patch hit every polling place throughout the day yesterday and created a timeline of Marlborough's voting as a result.
6:00 a.m.: Four early risers were lined up trying to vote at the Whitcomb Middle School.
6:45 a.m.: People were lined up outside the door of the Masonic Hall waiting to vote before work. With biting chills in the lower 30's outside the weather was not on everyone's side, said Judy Jewett.
"There were a lot of people in line," she said. "It's not the kind of day you want to stand outside."
8:00 a.m.: A report from reader Carrie-Ann Rawson via Twitter is that turnout was brisk at the Boys and Girls Club as she went to vote.
8:36 a.m.: Polling has been strong through the morning. Reports from the Masonic Hall and Senior Center were a steady stream of voters beginning at 7 a.m. and continuing past 9:30 a.m.
8:46 a.m.: The clear voting fuel of choice? Chocolate. Lots of chocolate. This theory has served Judy Jewett, the president of the Friends of the Marlborough Seniors, well during her candy fundraiser at the Senior Center voting location over the last 5 years. Chocolate is the perfect way "to keep up their strength," said Jewett.
The chocolate business really picks up in the afternoon, she said.
"People don't think chocolate in the morning; most of them," said Jewett who sells the chocolates as a fundraiser for the organization. "A lot of people come in. It's a good fundraiser."
The voting was brisk throughout the morning, said Jewett.
"I think it's going to be an exciting turnout. It's an important vote today," she said.
9:05 a.m.: Steven Levy was downtown outside the Masonic Hall. He said that he will be moving through his district throughout the day seeing volunteers as they attempt to get people out to vote.
"I came out to talk to the volunteers on both sides of the aisle," said the incumbent Republican running against Danielle Gregoire for the 4th Middlesex District.
Even on election day, there is a lot of outreach, he said. Phone calls, standing at polls and walking through neighborhoods are all part of the plan.
"We want to make sure key voters are coming out. Then like everyone else you cross your fingers and wait for the results," said Levy who will be settling down at the Celtic Tavern in Northborough tonight to wait for the results.
9:21 a.m.: Voting finally has slowed down a little at the Masonic Hall. The voting machine has taken 265 ballots since the polls opened at 7 a.m.
"It has been heavy; very, very heavy," said Mary Aykanian, a poll worker stationed at the hall. "I looked up and thought it was one already, but it wasn't even 9:30."
9:42 a.m.: Daniel Yosca brought his daughter and two young sons to vote with him as he does every year. With the children home from school it has become a tradition, with his two boys repeatedly asking him when they were going to head to the polls this morning.
"I take the boys every year to vote," said Yosca.
10:42 a.m.: Maria Pontes brought her sons Matheus and Eliseu along with her to vote at the Hildreth School.
"We can vote for the people so we can have a better life," said nine year-old Matheus who was excited to see his mother vote.
10:52 a.m.: The voting had been steady since the early morning, said Judith Kellogg, warden of Ward 7 Precinct 2.
"We have been very, very busy," she said. "Even when there is a lull, it is steady."
Ward 7 was among this affected by reprecincting. This caused some confusion with people going to the wrong polling location, said Kellogg. Some people had also not voted for a while.
The election is busier than she remembers the last presidential race.
"They were both very busy, but this seems worse," said Kellogg.
11:00 a.m.: The voting machine for Ward 7, Precinct 1 had taken 411 ballots since the polls opened at 7 a.m. Precinct 2 had taken 399 ballots.
11:05 a.m.: The high early voter turnout at Hildreth resulted in the primary voting numbers being eclipsed by 8:05 a.m., said Ralph Belmore, warden of Ward 7 Precinct 1, half jokingly.
"The morning was lines out the door," he said explaining there were also a large number of absentee ballots. "The voters are out there ... it has been a real good turnout."
11:20 a.m.: Voting at Whitcomb Middle School was also strong early, but Warden Linda Goodwin described things as going smoothly. There were some early risers who thought they could get in early, though, she said.
"We had four people come in at six trying to vote," said Goodwin.
11:23 a.m.: The voting machine for Ward 6, Precinct 1 had taken 318 ballots since the polls opened at 7 a.m. Precinct 2 had taken 579 ballots.
11:28 a.m.: Mike Fantasia cast his first vote today. Although he had been able to vote previously, this was the first time he said he felt compelled to.
"This is my first time voting," said Fantasia who explained he voted because of "fear of what could happen."
He said that he voted for Barack Obama for President and yes on Question 3.
11:40 a.m.: Caroline and her daughter Jeanine Kutil had just finished voting at Francis J. Kane School where they said they had not encountered any lines.
"I'm a little nervous with the media saying it's a close race," said Caroline who voted for Barack Obama as did her daughter.
The two differed when it came to the vote for senate, she said. However, she said that she attempted to not overly influence her daughter.
"Everybody should be free to make their own decision," said Caroline.
Jeanine said she was happy that the process had reached the voting phase.
"It has been a long advertising campaign on both sides," she said.
11:48 a.m.: The polls at Francis J. Kane School had been hit just as hard as the others around town when they opened and before.
"They were out there at 6:30 waiting," said Voting Warden Betty Peltekis. "We will be busy again before dinner."
11:52 a.m.: The voting machine for Ward 2, Precinct 1 had taken 550 ballots since the polls opened at 7 a.m. Precinct 2 had taken 452 ballots. The machine for Ward 1, Precinct 1 had taken 419 ballots while the Ward 1, Precinct 2 had taken 642 ballots.
1:51 p.m.: City officials are also observing a high turnout throughout the city. City Clerk Lisa Thomas said that she expected an 85 percent voter turnout compared to the 82 percent from the last presidential election.
4:29 p.m.: The Boys and Girls Club polling location saw a busy turnout as well, but Warden Matt O'Brien would have liked to see an even busier day.
"We want 1,200 out of 1,200," he said of wanting 100 percent voter turnout in Ward 4, Precinct 1.
4:35 p.m.: The voting machine for Ward 4, Precinct 1 had taken 550 ballots since the polls opened at 7 a.m. Precinct 2 had taken 1,154 ballots.
4:41 p.m.: City Councilor Katie Robey was holding a sign for Danielle Gregoire outside of the Boys and Girls Club. She has known Gregoire for years, she explained.
"She has helped me with my campaign and I figured I'd return the favor," said Robey who was bundled up against the increasingly sharp cold as the sun set. "I think it helps to have a sign."
5:00 p.m.: The voting machine at the Raymond J. Richer School for Ward 3, Precinct 2 had taken 1,072 ballots since the polls opened at 7 a.m.
5:01 p.m.: It was a busy day for the Richer School polling location, with the same morning rush that characterized all locations throughout the city, said Warden Mary Rowe.
"People were here very early," she said. "People have been patient and cooperative; neighbors meeting neighbors and having a fine time."