Triton Voice

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Rowley voting on election day.

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Rowley's sample ballot

Rowley's sample ballot

Courtesy Town of Rowley

Rowley's sample ballot

Courtesy Town of Rowley

Courtesy Town of Rowley

Rowley's sample ballot

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People rushing around a packed parking lot, avoiding giant mud puddles, and hoping to get to shelter before the looming storm clouds reach the town makes for one determined group of voters.  

With all of these challenges, citizens of Rowley still came out and voted. They wanted to voice their opinions on the ballot questions, and who they wanted for senate, house of representatives, and governor.

Rowley uses Saint Mary’s Church across the street from Pine Grove School as it’s voting center. When you are at Pine Grove and you look over to the church you can see many many signs, and an average of five people standing on the lawn. Most of the of them are flagging people down to come vote and others waving there signs to bring attention to their candidate.

The Triton Voice got to speak to one of the people advocating for a candidate and she gave brief summary of who she was standing there to support.

“This gentlemen not to be confused with Charlie Baker is our friend Richard Baker,” said Linda Libert, resident of Rowley, “who is running for the most important government committee no one’s ever heard of. That is the governor’s counsel. It is made of eight people who vet the governors nominees for the judges in the court system in Massachusetts.”    

This year was predicted to be the biggest voter turnout compared to any other midterm election in recent memory.

“I think this will be record breaking for a midterm election, we did 3,900 for the presidential election I don’t think we will get 3,900 probably get over 2,700 like in 2014,” said town clerk of 18 years Susan Hazen.

In Rowley, there were 200 people showing up per hour. By 3:30 there were 2,200 people who had voted that including people who prevoted.

Joan Petersen, resident of Rowley, has been working at the voting booths since 1989. She said she thinks that the other residents of Rowley will be coming out because they want different actions taken.

“I think people want to see some sort of change or progress moving in maybe a different direction. I’m not sure, but this is a big turn out for a mid year election,” said Petersen   

Massachusetts is mostly democratic state, but we do have a republican governor. In this election Massachusetts is voting on three major ballot questions and senate and house of representative seats as well as the governor’s office.   

“I think the ballot questions are huge,” said Hazen. “But I think there has been a lot on TV about just the way things are going with the ballots, with the senate and the house of representatives.”

In Saint Mary’s Church there are many people packed into a small space and what seems like an even smaller parking lot. Looking around you can see many parents with their kids either trying to keep them from bouncing into other people or to keep them out of the other voting booths.

Petersen talked about the young kids going to the voting booth and how when she was younger they didn’t do this. Sometimes she just has to watch the kids for the parents who are voting. Other times the kids go in the booths with their parents and they get to see how the process of voting works. It gets the kids interested from a young age. Plus they love the stickers they get at the end.

“We got the stickers,” said Petersen. “The kids like the stickers better than the parents do…I never did any of this when I was their age but at least now they are bringing them they’re letting them see, maybe show them how they marked it, how they check in, check out, and watch it go into the box, So its a learning process even if they’re that small.”  

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