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Voter turnout a record high for some Monadnock region towns

  • Hancock voter Karie Mason and her daughter, Mallory, 2, take a moment to enjoy a handmade sign in support of President Obama outside the Hancock polls on Tuesday.
  • Democrat Terry Reeves of Peterborough toasts State Rep Jill Shaffer Hammond at the Obama office in Peterborough after results came in showing Hammond's victory in the one-town district.
  • Democrat Terry Reeves of Peterborough toasts State Rep Jill Shaffer Hammond at the Obama office in Peterborough after results came in showing Hammond's victory in the one-town district.
  • Tim Zalenski, center, talks about voting to his sons, Caden and Owen, after casting his ballot in Lyndeborough.  Zalenski said he has lived in town for about a month, and moderator Walter Holland, left, made sure he and his sons recieved a round of applause as first-time Lyndeborough voters.
  • By mid-day Tuesday, town officials at Dublin's Town Hall had reported a nearly 50-percent voter turnout for the 2012 election.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Marcia Ober registers Caitlin Brown and Alex Rand to vote in the Mascenic Regional High School gym on Tuesday.
  • Marcia Ober registers Caitlin Brown and Alex Rand to vote in the Mascenic Regional High School gym on Tuesday.
  • Daniel Johnson of Rindge casts his ballot at the Rindge Memorial School on Tuesday morning.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

All over the country Tuesday, voters turned out in droves for the election, resulting in hourlong waits in some states. Although the Monadnock region didn’t have to deal with the massive influx of voters, some towns did see a record turnout.

Outside the polls in Peterborough on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass said he was encouraged by the high turnout he was seeing throughout the Second Congressional District.

“I feel great. I think the strong turnout favors us,” said the Republican Congressman, who ultimately lost to Democrat Ann Kuster.

In Peterborough, turnout was bolstered by an unusually high number of absentee ballots, according to Town Clerk Linda Guyette. She said 587 absentee ballots had been sent out and 517 returned by midday Tuesday. She said the Post Office, UPS and Fed Ex would be making a late delivery before the polls closed, so the number might even be higher.

The turnout in Peterborough was a bit higher than the last time President Obama was on the ballot in 2008, with 80 percent of voters at the polls as opposed to 72 percent in 2008.

The numbers show a high voter turnout for Wilton, too, with 86 percent of voters going to the polls to cast their ballots — more than 2010’s midterm election, when only half of registered voters made an appearance, and 2008’s presidential election, when 74 percent of voters turned out. Wilton Police Chief Brent Hautanen said voters had arrived early, with a line stretching down Main Street when the polls opened.

Rindge, Jaffrey and Dublin moderators reported record turnouts at the polls by midday Tuesday, too. Like Wilton, voting was especially high in the morning, they said, with above-expected numbers and voters lined up before the polls had even opened.

Jaffrey had a 10-percent higher voter turnout than in 2008, and participation numbers in Rindge jumped by 17 percent as compared to the last presidential election, but ultimately Dublin residents showed about the same amount of participation.

Turnout was high in Lyndeborough, where 89 new voters registered, bringing the total of registered voters to 1,206. Every time a newcomer handed in a ballot, Town Moderator Walter Holland called for a round of applause. In all, a total of 86 percent of Lyndeborough voters made it to the polls.

While all Monadnock towns in the Ledger-Transcript’s coverage area experienced a higher turnout than at the midterm election, some remained close to the percentage of registered voters that turned out for the last presidential election. Temple, Hancock and Francestown all maintained approximately the same percentages. A higher percentage of Hancock residents voted than any other town in the region, with a full 90 percent of registered voters casting a ballot.

Other towns, such as Antrim, Greenfield and Sharon, saw slight increases in voter turnout, with Antrim increasing from 75 percent in 2008 to 78 percent this year, Greenfield increasing from 79 percent to 82 percent, and Sharon increasing 84 percent to 89 percent.

Only two towns had a lower percentage turnout than they produced in the last election year: Bennington and New Ipswich. While Bennington slipped three percent, from 72 percent to 69 percent, it was New Ipswich that took the biggest dive when it came to voter turnout.

Just under half of New Ipswich’s registered voters were involved in the midterm election. The number had dropped from the 73 percent who voted in the 2008 presidential election. Voters didn’t turn out in the same numbers for this election, however, with only 64 percent of voters on the checklist Tuesday, the lowest percentage in the region.

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