With SuperTuesday upon us here in Massachusetts the time had come to see exactly what the situation was at the polls today.
I started in Fitchburg in Ward 1.
The reports were of slow turnout both precincts were below 40 voters at 11:30.
My next stop was ward 4 in Leominster, I followed a Prius with an Obama 2008 bumper sticker to the polling place. Talk about your stereotypes.
Ward 4 is split between two different buildings B & C were in the Vets center and A is in the senior center. As in Fitchburg turnout was down although 4B had managed to break the 100 mark to Leominster. They had meticulous notes concerning past election days, hour by hour results for each year including the weather for each day. They really knew their trends and the trend was down.
My plan was to head west at this point but I received a call saying my son and his friend needed a ride home from school, so I hit the highway figuring to go to Ayer and backtrack. I hit route 2 East (to my surprise passing my 87 yr old mother on the highway) and took the exit bringing me to the Nashoba club, I ordered some lunch and ran down the street to the Town Hall as it was cooking:
The Town Hall looked pretty organized, as at the other locations turnout was down. There was some issue about some democrats being unclear if they could vote today, not that there was much of a choice to make.
From there I headed back to the Nashoba club, wolfed down lunch and then headed toward Lunenburg, when I pulled into the town hall I discovered that voting took place in the elementary school, as I didn’t have time to backtrack I headed to Townsend. It was the only parking lot I saw all day totally full.
However a lot of that was the poll workers. The most interesting thing about the Townsend numbers were the totals
Pct 1 -156 Pct 151, Pct 142.
It was a rather even turnout, the Warden told me they had just redrawn their lines and the numbers were pretty close, however as before the actual turnout was down, they hoped to get 1200, but figured they would be lucky if they did.
Townsend was also the first polling place where I saw a sign for a presidential candidate (Romney) planted in the snow.
From there I rushed back to Fitchburg arriving about 8 minutes late, grabbed the kids and we hit our ward in Fitchburg, Ward 6 where my son Daniel cast his very first vote.
He gets a lot of razzing for registering Republican in school (Repubicans are only 11% statewide) but the people at the polling place were delighted to see a young person voting for the first time, even diehard Democrat Anne DiMartino voiced her approval but said she wouldn’t ask who he voted for as she wouldn’t like the answer.
After dropping off the Crystal in Leominster I headed back to Lunenburg. Lunenburg was the only town where I wasn’t allowed in the room proper, but the warden went in and brought out the numbers for me. By this time is was about 3 p.m and the four precincts varied from 105 to 148 voters less that 10% of the 7000 registered voters in the town.
From Lunenburg I headed for Groton. On my way to ward 1 I noticed for the only time today people holding signs for a presidential candidate
Who would have thought the only people willing to hold signs I’d find today would be Obama people? Although they weren’t willing to be interviewed I commented on it when I stopped at the polling place.
I had heard reports of democrats taking ballots to write in candidates other than Obama, but there was none of that in this town, however like all the others the turnout was low.
From Groton it was off to Shirley. Shirley has the seemingly smallest area for the workers but they were extremely friendly. By 4 p.m. about 12% of registered voters had turned out.
Shirley also had the only other sign I saw near a polling place, one for Newt. I really expected to see more Ron Paul people out.
At this point it was getting late and I wanted to head home hoping to beat daWife to the house to get some dishes done before she got home but before I did I headed back to Ward 1 in Fitchburg to see if the crowd had increased as the day went on. Although nearly 5 hours had passed since my first visit and the weather was considerably warmer the numbers had not managed to even double.
So bottom line, 7 towns very little turnout. although one might think this would favor the underdogs who might be more motivated I suspect this is very good news for Gov Romney. The one hallmark of his campaign has been very good organization, I highly doubt his organization would not make sure his voters were out in the state where he will be speaking.
My guess as of 6 p.m. Mitt Romney managed to break the 50% mark here in Massachusetts.