The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 22, 2010

Coakley wins Carlisle, loses state race

Democrat Martha Coakley beat Republican Scott Brown in Carlisle’s Special Election on Tuesday, January 19, but Brown prevailed state-wide by a clear margin to become Massachusetts’ new U.S. Senator. Brown was elected to finish the late Ted Kennedy’s unexpired term of office, which ends in 2012.

In Carlisle, Coakley received 1,442 votes to Brown’s 1,215. Joseph Kennedy finished third with 13 votes and there was one blank vote cast. A total of 2,671 residents, 76% of Carlisle’s registered voters, cast ballots in the election. Although this was more than double the 1,155 voters in the Special Primary Election last month, according to Town Clerk Charlene Hinton, the turnout significantly lagged the 92% - 93% often seen in Carlisle for major national elections. A total of 218 residents voted by absentee ballot.

The polls opened at Town Hall at 7 a.m. and Hinton noted, “There was a nice long line when we started.” She said the pace was rapid and steady most of the day, “With only one question [on the ballot], people were in and out quickly.” Brown and Coakley supporters were undaunted by the snowy weather and spent hours holding signs and banners at the end of the driveway.

Carlisle’s election results parallel the state averages more often than not, but the local atmosphere may be unique. Once more, volunteers turned the crank as the town’s wooden voting box was called into service to collect the ballots. Vases of tulips brightened the voting booths, courtesy of the Clerk’s office. Hinton noted that many residents dropped by her desk after voting, “We’re simultaneously selling a lot of dog licenses. People are doing one-stop shopping, I guess.” After a moment she added, “Though few have offered to pay their taxes two weeks early.” ∆


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