Joseph Lapiana displays a box containing 508 ballots cast by early voters for the Nov. 6, 2018 election. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Westford Precincts 1 and 3 Suggest Large Voter Turnout for Mid-term Election; Dovetails with National Trend

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Voter turnout numbers at precincts 1 and 3 on Nov. 6 may be indicators of voting statistics across the country.

“One thousand ballots were delivered to this district and we’re down to 400 blank ballots,” said Precinct 3 Warden Joseph Lapiana. But more were available at the Town Clerk’s office, if needed, he added.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and by 10:30 a.m. at the Abbot School, precinct 3 had 514 ballots cast, “which is more than what we (typically) have for the whole day,” Lapiana said.

In addition, another 508 had voted early and 64 absentee ballots had been received.

“We had every booth filled this morning at one point,” Lapiana said, adding that he’s been helping at the polls for at least a decade and couldn’t recall a similar scene.

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Voter turnout across the country appears to be soaring. On Nov. 5, Politico published an article with this headline: “A staggering 36 million people have voted early, setting the stage for big midterm turnout.”

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa published this headline on the morning of Nov. 6: “Tuesday morning voter turnout surpasses 2014 numbers by 9 a.m.”

At Ward 8 in Nashua, New Hampshire, voter Billy Williams said it took him 10 minutes to find a parking spot as he competed with others there to cast ballots.

“Then I waited 15 minutes in line to vote,” Williams said.

Westford, a town with a population of almost 24,000 has six precincts and almost 17,000 registered voters.

At precinct 1, also inside the Abbot School, Warden Judith Culver said the line of voters was 20 long at 7 a.m. when the doors opened.

“It’s been busy, busy,” she said.

Culver said 500 had cast ballots by 10:30 a.m. and 594 had voted early.

“We have 79 absentee ballots,” she said, “which is four times higher than we’ve ever seen.”

Editor’s note: WestfordCAT will post local election results tonight as they become available.