The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 5, 2010

Carlisle’s Jon Golnik puts up fight, but Tsongas prevails

BIG TURNOUT ON TUESDAY. The voting booths were filled most of election day as Carlisle residents filled out their ballots in the Clark Room at Town Hall. (Photo by Ellen Huber)

Voter turnout started high and continued strong throughout the day as 2,695, or 75% of Carlisle’s registered voters participated in the State Election on Tuesday, November 2.

This year Carlisle had a special stake in the Mass. 5th District race for U.S. House of Representatives, with Elizabeth Ridge Road resident Jonathan Golnik running against incumbent Niki Tsongas. In Carlisle, Golnik trailed Tsongas 1,178 votes to 1,472. With 99% of the results in, reported that Tsongas won overall with 55% of the vote. Golnik received 42%, while Dale Brown received 2% and 1% of the voters supported Bob Clark.


Carlisle residents favored the incumbents in most cases and generally agreed with state-wide results (see table). Carlisle voters followed their own path on the ballot questions, voting against Question 1 to repeal the sales tax on alcohol by a margin of 1,483 to 1,183, while the question passed state-wide. Carlisle voted 1,503 to 1,071 in favor of Question 2 to repeal Chapter 40B, although accross the state the question was defeated. Question 3 to lower the sales tax lost in Carlisle by a 1,581 to 1,061 margin. Question 4, a non-binding referendum on single-payer healthcare was favored in town, 1,413 to 1,081. As of press time with most of the 14th Middlesex District results reported, the referendum passed by close to a two-to-one margin.

Busy day at Town Hall

At 6:30 a.m., half an hour before the polls opened on Tuesday, Town Clerk Charlene Hinton said that there was a double line of people across the lobby, past the counter to the desks. She said, “I left the front door unlocked because it was very cold. Better they should be in here than outside and freezing.”

Roughly 2,600 people filed through Town Hall in 13 hours. Cars backed up to the rotary during the early morning rush, Hinton said, and parking spaces were at a premium. “There were some issues in the parking lot, but they were handled by the police. Overall, everyone was conscientious in their behavior. Everyone worked together.”

This was the first election in which Hinton had processed a ballot received via email. While not as private as normal voting or absentee ballots, they are permitted for state and federal elections for the case of pre-qualified, registered voters who have become permanent residents abroad. Four or five people from Carlisle are eligible and one chose to participate in this election, Hinton said.

“The volunteers have done a terrific job all day,” Hinton said on Tuesday evening. Election Wardens Kerri Piette and Rochelle Landon organized the large contingent of volunteers who helped the election run smoothly. Earlier, the four-member Board of Registrars had met to authenticate absentee ballots. There are two Democrats and two Republicans on the board, including: Cynthia Schweppe, Seba Gaines, Elizabeth Bishop and Hinton. The registrars may help at the polls, Hinton explained, but are limited in what they can do. The registrars are not allowed to touch the ballots during the election, because they are responsible for conducting a recount if one were needed after an election.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES. Democrats on the ballot did well in Carlisle and across the state in Tuesday’s mid-term election. (Photo by Rik Pierce)

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito