The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 20, 2002


Carlisle Democrats pick Reich, Republicans choose Healey Town turnout is impressive

While the turnout for the primary election on Tuesday was dismal state-wide, election officials here in Carlisle were overjoyed with the number of citizens, 1,229, who took the time to vote at Town Hall. There are 3,274 registered voters in Carlisle, 37.5% of whom voted. This compares favorably with the 28.4% who voted in the primary four years ago.

On this beautiful late summer day, a steady stream of voters passed through the Clark Room to cast their ballots into the antique hand-cranked ballot box. Poll workers couldn't help but feel proud of Carlisle's simple and reliable system of voting and counting the ballots. Compared to the disaster with Florida's new electronic voting machines, we have a system that works.

In the primary election it is the parties that count. If a voter was listed as unenrolled, he or she could ask for one of four ballotsDemocratic, Republican, Libertarian or Green. If the voter was listed in one of the four parties he or she had to take the ballot for that party. Of course in the state election in November there will be only one ballot, and registered voters may chose the candidate of their choice.

How do Carlisle primary voters split along party lines? This year 61.5% took Democratic ballots, 38.2% Republican, and 0.3% Libertarian. This is not very different from 1998, when the split was 59.9% Democratic and 40.1% Republican.

Big winners in Carlisle's

primary election

The big winners in Carlisle on the Democratic side included Robert Reich for governor (Reich received 326 votes while winner Shannon O'Brien received 259), Lois Pines for lieutenant governor and John Kerry for US senator. For the Republicans, there was Mitt Romney for governor and Kerry Healey for lieutenant governor. The Libertarians posted only four votes, while there were no votes for the Green Party.

Different drummers here

In some contested races results in Carlisle differed dramatically from results for the state as a whole. Nearly half (44%) of voters in Carlisle's Democratic primary favored Robert Reich as Democratic candidate for governor, almost twice the 25% casting ballots for Reich statewide. Only one in ten Democratic primary voters chose Thomas Birmingham for governor, compared with one in four throughout the state. Similarly, half voted for Lois Pines for lieutenant governor, but only three in 10 statewide, and fewer in Carlisle favored Chris Gabrieli (31 percent vs. 46% for the state). In the Democratic treasurer's races Carlisle voters chose Jim Segel more (37 vs. 24%) and Stephen Murphy less (7 vs. 22%) than voters throughout the state. Finally, Middlesex Register of Probate Democratic candidate Diane Harpell of Acton received more than half of Carlisle votes, but only one in four statewide.

Voters in Carlisle's Republican primary mirrored statewide results in the contest for candidates for lieutenant governor and US house of representatives, but not for treasurer or state house of representatives. Bruce Herzfelder getting 65% of Carlisle votes for treasurer, compared with 47% statewide, and almost 7 of ten in Carlisle choosing Richard McClure for the state house of representatives, compared with 43% for the whole district.

For complete statewide results, see

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito