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MINUTES OF THE Powered By Docstoc
					                                       MINUTES OF THE
                                       STATE ELECTION
                                      NOVEMBER 4, 2008

The polls were officially opened to voters at 7:00 AM with the reading of the warrant by Warden
Mary Geromini. It is noted that the Delaney School was opened approximately 15 minutes late,
6:15 AM, by the janitor. Workers and voters were waiting for the doors to be unlocked.

Sample ballots, Instructions to Voters, Voters Bill of Rights, were posted. The ballot boxes were
opened and examined by Warden Geromini and Officer Cowley. A test tabulation was run and
the zero results were posted. The AutoMark handicap voting machine was turned on. The keys
were then handed over to Officer Cowley.

At 7:00 AM, the line of voters waiting to cast their ballots was out to Taunton St. With the help
of poll workers and greeters, the voters moved quite quickly through the process of checking in,
voting, and checking out.

Election workers were:

Precinct 1 IN – Marge Harrington, Lynn Mollica; OUT – Joyce Baldyga, Dot Reynolds; Ballot
Box – Fran Padula
Precinct 2 IN – Don Vaillancourt, Frank Mollica; OUT – Pat Bogardus, Mel Gouthro; Ballot Box –
Valerie Schensnol
Precinct 3 IN – Jeannette Vaillancourt, Gail Pratt; OUT – Sue Martisius, Ed Martisius
Clerk’s desk – Carol Mollica, Mary Geromini, Lynne Hallion, Marylou Barton (pm).

Other support staff during the day who held various positions such as greeters, fill-in checkers,
ballot box workers, and write-in tabulators were: Joanne Dolan, Chris Mollica, Julie Mollica, and
Kathy Marino.

Also, the Scouts of Troop 131 of Wrentham volunteered to set up the election booths on
Monday evening and tore down the booths on election night. They are to be highly commended
for a job well done. The booths were set up very efficiently and speedily. The boys did a great
job, and their work was very much appreciated. A big thank you to their leaders also. The
leaders should be very proud of their scouts.

Police officers on duty during the day were:

5:45 AM to 8:00 PM – Special Officer Richard Gillespie
6:00 AM – 4:00 PM – Officer Chris Cowley
7:00 AM – 4:00 PM - Special Officers Jason Acord, Darryll True
3:00 PM – Closing – Special Officer Fred True
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM - Sgt. Jeff Smith

After the initial rush of opening voters, the turnout continued heavy during most of the day. At
lunchtime, it slowed somewhat but was still steady. By 9:00 AM, 1142 voters had cast their
ballots, or 15% of total registered voters. It is noted that between 8/27/08 (last day to register
for State Primary) and 10/15/08 (last day to register for State election), more than 300 residents
registered to vote.

As of 12:00 noon on 11/3/08, the deadline for filing for an absentee ballot, there was a total of
570 requests for absentee ballots. Most of these ballots were returned on time and were
processed during the course of the day. They were finished being processed at approximately
8:15 PM.

There was a total of 142 Affirmations of Current and Continuous Residence forms processed
during the course of the day. These were for Inactive voters. Most of these were the result of
voters not returning their census. These people were reminded of the importance of returning
their census. The remainder of the inactives was the result of address changes. All inactives
are required to show IDs, and all produced an ID.

There were 16 Provisional Ballots issued. These ballots are issued to residents claiming to
having been registered but not on the voters’ list. A provisional ballot is not counted on election
day, but researched on the days immediately following the election. If it proves that a voter
should have been on the roster, that vote is counted. If not, it is not counted.

Also, due to legislation for the clerks that was passed approximately 6 days before the election,
there was a second set of ballots issued by the State called Partial Provisional Ballots. These
were for residents who had moved out of town between 5/4/07 and 11/4/08 and had not
registered anywhere else during this time frame. They were allowed to vote for the State offices
and questions only on these ballots. Four voters fell into this category.

There was also a total of 56 spoiled ballots. These are voters who make a mistake on their
ballot (overvoting, erroneous marking, etc.). The bad ballot is marked “Spoiled” with the
precinct number and not counted. A new ballot is given to be voted. The voter has three
chances to mark their ballot correctly.

In the afternoon one voter from Precinct 3 came to the clerk’s desk to report that someone had
already voted using her name. Upon checking the In and Out books and the voter’s ID, it was
determined that, indeed, someone had fraudulently used this person’s name. The real voter
was given a provisional ballot, but it was determined after checking with election officials that
the real voter’s ballot could not be counted. It is exactly for this reason that the Town and City
Clerks of Massachusetts firmly believe that voters should show an ID at the polls.

At approximately 5:15 PM the electricity suddenly went out. It was determined that a section of
town had lost electricity. Apparently there was no emergency generator for lights in the gym.
The ballot computers stayed on because of their battery backup. The Automark also stayed on.
However, the Town Clerk ordered all voting to cease and no voters to be checked in or out. It
was too dark to read the books or ballots. Most voters clearly understood the problem and did
not complain. A few voters waiting in line vehemently complained about not being able to vote.
The Town Clerk did not want even one vote to be disqualified or the election compromised in
any way. Electricity was restored in about 15-20 minutes and voting proceeded.

At approximately 6:00 PM, while processing absentee ballots, it was discovered that 32
absentee ballots had been run through the wrong precinct. They were immediately removed
from the ballot box and then run through the correct precinct computer. The names were
correctly checked in and out of the correct precinct. This was the improper procedure and it
was realized later while tallying results that these 32 ballots were actually counted twice.
Immediately the Clerk called election headquarters in Boston to see how to remedy this
situation. She was told to leave things how they are and not to change anything. Also, if
wanted, any voter could petition for a recount. This information was to be made available to the
public, as it has been. The official stated that mostly likely there would not be a petition for a
recount as again, most likely, there would not be a contest with results within 32 votes.

Voter turnout continued to 8:00 PM. At 8:00 PM Warden Geromini declared the polls officially
closed. There were no voters standing in line at that time. One voter showed up at 9:00 PM,
but was turned away. While the workers were reconciling their books, the computers were
programmed for tabulation. The equipment was taken down by the Boy Scouts and volunteers
helped to reconcile and record write-in votes. Results were available by approximately 9:15
PM. The Clerk read the unofficial results to those present. It was stated that there were 7,488
voters that cast ballots, or 98.9% of registered voters, and that McCain/Palin had 3,071 votes
while Obama/Biden had 3,878 votes. After later rechecking figures, it was determined that
6,171 voters cast their ballots, or 81.5%. Also, the correct figure for Obama/Biden was 2,907.

All materials were returned to Town Hall by 11:15 PM.

The Town Clerk would like to thank all the people who made this election a success. Even with
the “hiccups” during the course of the day, the election overall ran very smoothly, taking into
account the preparation that was needed, the large voter turnout, the late legislation that had to
be implemented, four different categories of voting, etc.. The Clerk commends the office staff,
Muriel Guenthner, for her help with the preparation of the election including processing the
absentee ballots while attending to regular office work; the Boy Scouts of Troop 131 and their
leaders for set-up and break-down of election equipment; the police officers who maintained
order and oversaw proper decorum of the election and handled traffic control; my election
workers who reported at 6:00 am and worked 17 hours straight; and my family members who
volunteered their time both before and during the election. The Town Clerk also commends the
voters themselves for their record turnout and for their patience during the “hiccups” and lines.
Their attitude was one of excitement, and they were proud to be able to vote during this history-
making election.

(Proudly) Attest: ________________________________
                      Carol A. Mollica, CMC/CMMC
                               Town Clerk


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