The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 14, 2008

Students cast their ballots

To the Editor:

Carlisle School students joined over 90,000 students from across the Commonwealth on October 30 to cast their votes for President in the National Student Mock Election.

The National Mock Election pick for President was Barack Obama, who received 64% of all votes. John McCain received 32%, Ralph Nader received 1.4%, and all other candidates received 1.5%. In Massachusetts, student votes had Barack Obama winning with 66% (59,974 votes), compared to John McCain’s 29% (26,303 votes). Independent candidate Ralph Nader received 2% (1,606 votes) and all other candidates received 3%. Carlisle students also reflected similar results with Barack Obama gaining 551 (71%) votes to John McCain’s 203 (27%). In addition to 1% write-ins and blanks, 1% of the votes went to Ralph Nader. Our votes were reported to Mock Election state headquarters at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum which submitted them to the website, adding our voice to the most historic presidential election in our history.

It is my hope that by making this experience as authentic as possible, our students will long remember the importance of voting in the democratic process. I would like to thank Charlene Hinton, Carlisle’s Town Clerk, who entrusted us to use both the official town voting booths and also the town’s ballot box. The reactions and responses of the children, as they watched their ballot disappear into the box and listened to the bell ring, were truly memorable. It was a very rewarding experience. In addition, I too learned something new when I heard that I had become the school’s “crank” for the day. While the position was not difficult to fill, it certainly added a great sense of empowerment to my day. This was a truly “Carlisle” experience all around!

And finally, I would like to acknowledge Carlisle DPW’s Gary Davis, who pulled through for us with his truck to safely deliver the items to our school custodial staff. Under the guidance of David Flannery, the booths were gingerly reconstructed and then disassembled to be safely returned to their home for the regular Town Election. The thoughtful and collaborative effort of the Carlisle community is what makes this small part of America a most wonderful place to be. Thank you everyone.

Sandy Kelly

Carlisle School Library Teacher

Thanks from Town Clerk

To the Editor:

Many heartfelt thanks to all 3,231 residents who voted on Election Day! We had a remarkable turnout and an extremely successful election thanks to the very hard work of our dedicated team of volunteer workers, and the Board of Registrars.

Irene Blake, the Assistant Town Clerk, spent an unbelievable amount of time working on the Absentee Ballots for this election. She processed most of the applications and was responsible for the preparation of virtually all the ballot mailings. On Election Day she processed most of the absentee ballots at the ballot box assisted by Kerri Piette, the Deputy Warden and Priscilla Dumka a dedicated volunteer. With over 620 absentee ballots being requested, this was nothing less than a monumental effort.

Election Warden Eva Herndon, along with Kerri Piette, the Deputy Warden did a terrific job of managing the Election Day activities and arranging for the volunteers that worked so hard to make this day the tremendous success it was.

We had a total of 87 election workers performing a variety of tasks from check-in and check-out to acting as the “Town Crank” processing the actual ballots into the reliable wooden ballot box, a true relic in its own regard and then counting the ballots in batches of 50 at a time. Despite starting their day at 5:30 a.m., the first shift of workers were exceedingly cheerful and efficient!

I would like to extend profound thanks to Irene, Eva, Kerri, as well as Liz Bishop and the other two Registrars Cynthia Schweppe and Seba Gaines, for the long hours they spent on Monday, 11/3/08 completing last-minute election preparations. Many of them worked over five hours each preparing tally sheets, signing absentee ballot applications, and in general setting up the lobby and voting precinct.

Cynthia Schweppe and Liz Bishop were extremely helpful greeting voters at the door and directing them to the appropriate line to check-in. All three of the Registrars joined me in signing the Absentee Ballot Applications. Each application requires signatures by at least three of the four Registrars (including the Town Clerk) and they came in several times in the last few weeks to sign and file the newly received applications.

Peter Duffany spent the entire day shuttling voters from the Kimballs Farm parking lot to Town Hall in the Recreation Department Van kindly loaned to us. Peter also set up the voting booths and made the precinct “voter friendly” by removing the Clark Room door. On Wednesday he returned the voting booths, ballot boxes and other election supplies to storage for us and rehung the Clark Room door. Thanks Peter!

In addition we are very grateful to the Carlisle Police Department for their fine service both in the polling place and at the crowded entry to the Town Hall parking lot. Due to their diligence we had no unwanted “auto events”!

Notwithstanding the Election Law rule change that was sprung on us five days before the election by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, we were able to serve virtually everyone who wanted to vote. There were only a handful of disappointed residents who had failed to register properly before the election and all of those have now been registered.

Thanks too to you voters who cast your ballots quickly and in good spirits. Your cooperation and patience was priceless.

We are so fortunate to have so many talented and willing volunteers and it is only because of their efforts that we have such successful elections. I cannot begin to thank them all sufficiently. This was an election of epic proportions and I am very proud of the work that was done and the overall pleasant experience that was Election Day. Having a turnout of over 88% is remarkable and it shows the commitment that our voters feel about such a treasured privilege. I appreciate the opportunity to work with these wonderful volunteers and am very proud to be a part of the election process for our Town.

Charlene M. Hinton

Town Clerk

Thanks from Cory Atkins

To the Editor:

I want to thank the voters of the 14th Middlesex District for reelecting me to the office of State Representative. I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve in this capacity and pledge to do the best job I can to see that the people of the 14th Middlesex have a strong voice on Beacon Hill.

The upcoming session will be challenging as the Legislature struggles with the realities caused by declining revenues and increasing unemployment. Fortunately there is a “good news” side to this dynamic. The economic crisis is a catalyst for changing political attitudes on crippling regulations and unfunded mandates that have historically been a financial burden to cities and towns.

Reform is in the air; not just economic reform, but political reform as well. The Governor recently formed a commission that will present the Legislature with legislation at the very beginning of the new session in January. I have been working with colleagues to bring reform measures to the House of Representatives to make our deliberations more transparent and accountable to our voters. Stay tuned. On a different note, I want to specially thank all the people who worked on any campaign and stood at the polls. You are soldiers for democracy and your passion makes this country work.

Special thanks and a shout out should go to all the Town Clerks and poll workers. There were no reports of long lines and hours of waiting in the 14th Middlesex District. Despite the unprecedented turnout, voting went smoothly and quickly. A final thanks goes to the community newspaper network, the Carlisle Mosquito, and the Lowell Sun whose editors and reporters did a good job covering the candidates running for office and the issues effecting the people of these towns. We had a great election and, no matter whom you supported, you should be proud that the process worked so well.

I look forward to working with you and as always please do not hesitate to contact my office at 1-617-722-2013 or email me at

Cory Atkins


© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito