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Seniors Turn Out, But Voting Turn-Out Low for Primary

Northborough numbers were remarkably low by late afternoon on primary day.

Mary Anne Curtis headed to the polls at the Peaslee School around 4 p.m. to make sure she put in her vote in the Massachusetts primary election on Thursday, Sept. 6.

She's in precinct three, which includes the Birchwood 55 and older community. Because the community is in the precinct, warden Pat Griffin says the Peaslee School often counts nearly 50 percent or more of its voters as seniors.

"It's a good reason we have a big turnout," said Griffin. "People over 55 vote."

Election worker Pauline Brodeur, who is also a Birchwood resident, agreed: "This is the social event of the week," she laughed.

"We are active for some reason," said Curtis, who is originally from Framingham. "We are just active seniors. When we moved here 15 years ago people thought we would stay in one spot, but we're young and active. This matters very much to us."

By 4 p.m., precinct 3 (the Peaslee School) had 132 votes. Echoing election workers in other precincts, Griffin remarked that the turnout was "much too slow."

John Forand stood outside the Peaslee School holding signs for Charlie Shapiro and wearing buttons for Jamie Eldridge and Jim McGovern. Of the four voting precincts in town, Forand was the only campaigner outside the buildings.

Northborough Patch asked Forand what inspires him to campaign. "They're doing a good job," he said.

Earlier, at 2 p.m. at the Lincoln Street School (precinct 2), the count stood at 82, the room empty of voters.

"It's partly because the primary is on a Thursday," said warden Terry Crean. "And there are not many contested races; that contributes to the low turnout, too."

By 3:25 p.m., at the Proctor School (precinct 1), 87 had voted.

"It's the lowest turnout I've seen," said election worker Cecelia d'Entremont, who has been working the polls since the '70s.

Genevieve Belfer left the polls at Proctor with her two kids, and said it is always important for her to vote.

"I bring my kids so they can see I vote, and what it's all about," said Belfer. "I wanted to vote to support Elizabeth Warren, but it's more important that I do that in November. It's just important for me to vote."

And at 4:15 p.m., warden Doris Crossman was shocked that only 58 had voted so far, noting that "we are usually the highest."

 

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