.

Election Results 'Interesting' Town Clerk Says

Turnout 'pathetic.'

The results are in, and Tuesday's local election cost the town $16 per vote, according to Town Clerk Anita Tekle. There are 12,000 registered voters in town, and 742 turned out.

In the one contested race, K.C. Winslow edged out Stephen Newbold for a seat on the Housing Authority by 33 votes, 289 for Winslow and 256 for Newbold. Winslow also beat a second challenger, Anita Barker who got 171 votes. Tekle said each of the Housing Authority candidates won in their own precinct, making it a close race.

Jeff Wieand was reelected as selectman with 607 votes; Eric Van Loon is moderator for another year with 635 votes; and Pam Gannon was reelected to the School Committee with 617 votes, each in uncontested races.

"The turnout was a pathetic 6 percent -- only 742 voters," said Tekle. "That comes out to about $16 per vote. Cost of a local election is around $12,000."

She said turnout was poor all over town, although the race for Housing Authority was "interesting, and relatively close."

"Each of the three candidates won somewhere – Anita Barker won in Precinct 3 (where she lives), Stephen Newbold won in Precincts 1 and 2 (he lives in Precinct 2), and KC Winslow won in 4 and 5 (she lives in Precinct 5)," said Tekle.

"Not much to say, other than the fact that the turnout was disappointing," she said.

Theresa Guthrie March 31, 2011 at 02:21 PM
As quaint as Town Meeting is, it's time has passed. Many senior citizens cannot drive or get out at night, busy young parents are consumed with work and spending time with their children, the disabled find it difficult to get there and sit for long periods of time, and the rest of the voters are just plain tired of committing every waking hour to out-of-the-home activities and need to unwind and recharge for all they do during the day. It is time to go to mail-in, phone, or online ballots. This is the 21st century!
Betsy Levinson March 31, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Interesting. Certainly there is concern about the lack of attendance at Town Meeting. It may be inevitable that the town adopts some new way of handling the town's business so that more voters can participate.

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