Peabody Voters Help Re-elect Obama, Tierney, But Support Brown
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Scott Brown has represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate since a January 2010 special election held to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy. Brown defeated state Attorney General Martha Coakley with 1,168,107 votes, or 51.9 percent, to her 1,058,682 votes, or 47.1 percent.
John Tierney has been the Conressman representing the 6th District for the past 16 years. He faces off against Richard Tisei, a former state senator who gave up his seat to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2010, and Daniel Fishman, who has never run for political office before. In 2010, Tierney defeated William Hudak 57-43.
Joan Lovely, a Salem city councilor, won the Democratic primary in September. She now faces off against Richard Jolitz, who previously ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2010. Lovely and Jolitz are seeking to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Fred Berry.
Theodore Speliotis has been the state representative for Danvers, West Peabody and Topsfield for the past 16 years. Due to redistricting, the 13th Essex now includes Precinct 2 in Middleton instead of Topsfield and another precinct in Peabody. He faces off against Daniel Bennett, a Danvers Selectman who previously ran for state representative in 2010. In 2010, Speliotis defeated Bennett by about 500 votes.
Eileen Duff (D) Defeats Maura Ciardiello (R): Mass. Governor's Council 5th District
Eileen Duff faces off against Maura Ciardiello for a seat on the Governor's Council to replace outgoing councilor Mary-Ellen Manning.
Updates From the Polls
9:30 a.m., Our Lady of Fatima, Ward 3 Precinct 1 and 2.
Ward 3 City Councilor Rico Mello is outside the polls, waiting to ferry his elderly constituents back to their homes. Mello said he volunteers his time, and his car, every election.
He expected to shuttle 30 or so residents today back and forth to the polls, and noted that a lot more people have been voting by absentee ballot in recent years -- Mello used to transport a lot more residents several years ago.
Mello, a registered Democrat, declined to reveal who's he's voting for today.
Inside Our Lady of Fatima, a decent size crowd was still filtering through the polling stations. Poll workers said the morning had been fairly busy -- much busier than they recalled in 2008 when President Barack Obama was first elected.
The turnout for Ward 3 Precinct 1 at that time was 264 out of 1,600 registered voters.
10 a.m., City Clerk's office, City Hall.
City Clerk Tim Spanos was still out on his morning rounds, inspecting the polling sites. The phones were off the hook in the clerk's office, keeping the staff on their toes with questions on where to vote and which precinct voters were in.
Community Development Director Karen Sawyer, who lives in Andover, noted the scene back home this morning was just a "crazy, crazy turnout."
10:30 a.m., Welch School, Ward 2 Precinct 1 and 2.
The count was at 247 for Precinct 2 on one half of the school gym and the turnout of voters had slowed, said election warden Cathy Russell.
"When we opened this morning, the line was out of the door," she said.
But over on the other side of the gym, the voters just kept streaming in, said election warden Dina Howcroft. The ballot count was at 292 and several more voters filed through as Howcroft spoke with a reporter.
"For a long time we haven't seen a turnout like this," she said.
She and her father, Louis Girolimon, who was seated next to her checking off voters' names, both thought this year's turnout will surpass 2008 as well. "From the way it's going, it looks like it will be higher," Girolimon said.
And out in the lobby, Welch School parents set up a table chock full of baked goodies to support the school Parent Teacher Organization and particularly the effort build a new playground.
"This morning has been pretty busy," said Aaron Rozanski. He said it's like "brand recognition," laughing and noting every bit of visibility helps to remind people about the playground.
Across the lobby, Public Health Nurse Neia Illingworth and city nurse Carolyn McGray administered free flu shots.
Illingworth said several people had stopped for a shot in the first hour, some noticing the sign on their way out and others who had seen news reports about the Vote & Vax project.
She said it was a joint decision between the Health Department and Board of Registrars to use the Welch School as the site for the pilot project.
"I think people are very thankful to get a shot for free [during flu season]," she said, and it's a "nice surprise" for those who weren't expecting it.
Outside the school, one female voter with two small children in tow who declined to give her name, said some of her key issues in getting out to vote were about birth control, women's rights and equal pay.
12:45 p.m., Peabody Square.
The chilly weather doesn't deter the few sign holders out this afternoon in Peabody Square. Three women stand next to the Civil War Monument with signs for Elizabeth Warren and John Tierney.
12:55 p.m. Higgins Middle School, Ward 4 Precinct 1 and 2.
Election warden Sheila D'Ambrosio said the voters just keep coming at the Higgins -- she's thinking it might end up being a record turnout.
The line was out the foyer and into the parking lot at about 6:40 a.m., she said, and while the morning rush had dwindled to a steady stream by early afternoon, it seemed that every several minutes another busload of voters would trek into the gym.
"It's like the weather in New England, just wait five minutes and it will change," she said, laughing.
The tally for both precincts as of 12:55 p.m. was 1,286 of 3,931 voters.
D'Ambrosio, who's a retired second-grade teacher from the Brown School, said several of her fellow poll workers are also retired teachers. She said they often see former students now with their own children at the polls.
And speaking of kids, D'Ambrosio said, she's a big fan of the Kids Voting USA program, which sets aside a separate booth at each precinct for children to vote along with their parents from 3-8 p.m. The program is sponsored locally by the Peabody Education Foundation.
Another highlight for D'Ambrosio was seeing a new citizen vote for the first time. She said one man, who is a native Kenyan, came in this morning to vote and needed some assistance navigating the process in English.
"Personally, I was delighted...he's come all that distance and obviously cares enough about this country to vote," she said.
Over on the other side of the gym, the flow of voters was just about the same and the absentee ballots were piling up.
Ann-Marie Twiss said the ballots are delivered sealed to each precinct and the wardens then have to open them and run them through the voting machine along with all the other ballots, which then all go to the City Clerk's office once the polls close.
5:42 p.m., City Clerk Tim Spanos on voter turnout
"I think we have some pretty big numbers so far," said City Clerk Tim Spanos, although he didn't have an exact prediction at the time.
"With a little over two hours left to go, I think it's going to be steady right up until eight o'clock," he said. "It's been very busy all day and I think we're going to have a very good voter turnout here."
LIVE 2012 PEABODY ELECTION RESULTS
|Race||Democratic Candidates||Results||Republican Candidates||Results||3rd Party Candidate||Results|
|U.S. Congress District 6||
|13,476||Richard Tisei||11,587||Daniel Fishman (L)||1,070|
|MA Senate 2nd Essex District||Joan Lovely||17,319||Richard Jolitz||7,128|
|MA House 13th Essex District
||Theodore Speliotis||4,207||Daniel Bennett||1,997|
|Governor's Councilor 5th District||Eileen Duff||15,609||Maura Ciardiello||8,330|
|Question 1: 'Right to Repair'||Yes||19,816||No||3,793|
|Question 2: Prescription of Life-Ending Medication||Yes||10,726||No||14,864|
|Question 3: Medical Marijuana||Yes||14,363||No||11,091|