LIVE BLOG: Tewksbury Municipal Election

We'll have all the latest news and information on Election Day Happenings, right up to and including the final vote tallies.

Precinct by Precinct Election Results

1 1A 2 2A 3 3A 4 4A Total Board of Selectmen (1)

*I-Doug Sears 239
221 208

Jim Biewener 181
184 146

Ed Sullivan 176
93 116

Town Clerk (1)

I-Mary-Ann Nichols 178
167 189

*Denise Graffeo 272
240 214

Han Bernier 116
101 78

Board of Health (1)

Kathleen Brothers 217
179 214

*Charles Roux 298
301 239

Housing Authority (1)

Paul O'Neill 196
168 179

*I-Marc DiFruscia 273
281 232

School Committee (1)

*Brian Dick 405
373 344

Library Trustees (1)

*I-Patrick Joyce 328
325 294

*I-Robert Homeyer 267
238 181

Planning Board (1)

*I-Stephen Johnson

Town Moderator (1)

*Keith Rauseo 408
390 346


Ballot Question *Yes 271 191 237 226 371 345 250 297 2188 No 296 287 228 272 266 329 169 311 2158 * - Winner


9:30 p.m. We're going to close the blog here. Thank you for joining us for our election coverage. Check back with tewksbury.patch.com in the morning for stories on each of the races, comments from the candidates and exclusive election features. Good night.

9:26 p.m. Final figures arent official but it looks like a voter turnout of roughly 22.3 percent. Not great but not bad for a municipal race.

9:10 p.m. The results of the contested races are in. Sears, Graffeo, DiFruscia and Roux are your winners and the ballot question passes by just 30 votes.

8:20 p.m. Members of the Graffeo camp are claiming victory but the numbers have not officially been announced yet.

8:08 p.m. Follow this chart for the latest precinct by precinct results. Keep checking back. The chart will be updated as each precinct is announced.

8:00 p.m. The polls have closed! Don't go away. We have reporters at Town Hall and we will have the results for you here in this blog as each precinct is announced.

7:28 p.m. We're in the home stretch. Polls are open for another half hour. Anyone brave enough to venture some predictions?

Also, another voting machine breakdown. This time at Precinct 4 around 6:30 p.m. Again, poll workers had to wait for a repair person from the company to get on scene to fix the problem.

7:08 p.m. Polls close in less than an hour .. if you haven't voted, by all means go do it. Turnout is high and races are close.

As of 6:30 p.m. a total of 4,380 votes had been cast. There are 20,354 registered voters in Tewksbury. So as of 6:30 p.m., turnout was 22 percent and climbing.

6:50 p.m. Someone called me this week and asked me some questions about campaign finance documentation. They were concerned that some candidates had not filed the mandated campaign finance declarations.

So I did some checking and it turns out the person was correct. Of the 15 candidates on the ballot in Tewksbury this year, six had not filled out the mandatory finance documentation, as of March 31. State election law mandates a declaration eight days prior to the election (in this case, March 25). Of the nine that had filed, two missed the March 25 deadline.

And this is not an isolated year. In both 2009 and 2010, there are numerous instances of candidates being late (in some cases VERY late) in filing the 8-day declaration, as well as the declarations required 30 days after the election and the end of the year after an election.

This isn't insidious or criminal by any stretch. But it is a bit careless and technically, candidates are subject to a fine of $25 for each day they are late, were official complaints filed. According to the Town Clerk's office, they send letters of reminder to the candidates and, eventually, the declarations are filed.

6:35 p.m. We just uploaded new photos from voting and campaigning at the Senior Center.

6:13 p.m. The polls close in less than two hours and it's hard to find people willing to go on the record and predict how some of the top races are going to finish.

Do you think the tough world of Tewksbury politics is just for grownups. Hah! Don't tell that to these kids, who are more than glad to get their feet wet in the political waters. Check out .

5:45 p.m. As Jim Sullivan mentioned in one of the comments, the Tewksbury High DECA team was at the polls today, selling raffle tickets for a quilt and a variety of local gift certificates. Several of the DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) students from Tewksbury performed well at the regional DECA conference and qualified for the international conference in Orlando.

5:00 p.m. The polls close in three hours! What issues are voters passionate about in this year's election? We asked Tewksbury voters casting their ballots today at the Public Library, what the issues were that mattered most to them? See what they had to say.

4:19 p.m. Much has been made in this campaign about Town Clerk Mary Ann Nichols overseeing an election that she and her assistant Town Clerk Denise Graffeo are both competing in. The third candidate in the race, Han Bernier, hasn't been shy about alluding to potential conflict of interests.

What we found out from the State Ethics Commission is that new rules were established in December that do, in fact, allow Clerk's to oversee elections they are competing in.

That said, some town officials, off the record, believed that Nichols should have recused herself and allowed a clerk from another town to oversee the election.

Earlier today in fact, the Town Clerk from Foxboro, Bob Cutler, was spotted at Town Hall and there was a belief he was there to be a third-party observer.

However, Nichols said Cutler, a friend and supporter, is not in town in an official capacity and had just stopped by to pay her a visit on Election Day.

4:10 p.m. To say folks have been a little "on edge" today may be a bit of an understatement. This morning, when the ballot box for Precinct 2 wasn't registering total votes correctly, a repair person from the company had to come down and take a look. Representatives from each of the camps in the major races was on hand to watch the procedure carefully.

3:33 p.m. We just uploaded some great video of some of the sights and sounds of Election Day in Tewksbury. More to come throughout the day.

3:23 p.m. Great comment overheard down at the Senior Center. There is a gentleman holding the door for some of the elderly folks who are voting today and he told a few of them he was "doing his civic duty." This is a cool town!

3:17 p.m. there have been 1705 votes cast thus far at the Senior Center for Precincts 1, 1A, 3 and 3A. Best estimate for a total voter count right now is 3,194. It would be tremendous to double that total over the last five hours of the election.

3:05 p.m. As of 2:45 p.m. turnout was still light at the library, with just 1489 votes combined cast in Precincts 2, 2A, 4 and 4A.

2:12 p.m. Brian Dick has an amazing amount of signs out there for someone running unopposed for the School Committee. And we've just posted some new photos of the scenes around the polling places.

1:51 p.m. Parking has been good at the Senior Center but has been a bit of an issue at the library. When the main lot is full, they are sending people to the adjacent field. That field, unfortunately, is rapidly becoming a mud pit because of the melting snow. they may want to consider letting people park along the hospital access road. Just a thought.

1:05 p.m. If you haven't had the chance to get out and vote yet, by all means do it! This is a local election, it has far more impact on your day-to-day life and on your wallet than a national election. These are the people that make decisions regarding budgets and tax rates and bylaws. the ballot question will decide if the sewer project will be paid for exclusively by sewer users or if some of the debt will be spread to all property owners.

If you haven't decided who to vote for yet,

12:32 p.m. -- They were having a little bit of mechanical trouble with the ballot box in Precinct 2A about an hour or so ago. Appears the problem has been dealt with. Seems to me their was a similar problem with one of the boxes last election. Gotta love modern technology.

12:15 p.m. -- Political campaigns are one of the best places EVER for rumors and there have been a few tossed around the last few days. One such rumor had a complaint being filed against the incumbent Town Clerk with either the State Ethics Commission or the Elections Division of the Sec. of State's office for mishandling absentee ballots. This is untrue.

The true story, according to Town Manager Richard Montuori is an internal complaint was made about the handling of "a couple of ballots" and that there was no impact on the election. Montuori did, however, contact candidates on the ballot to keep them informed.

12 p.m.  -- My name is Bill Gilman, editor of Tewksbury Patch. Welcome to the Tewksbury Patch Election Day Live Blog. I will be updating this story throughout the day and into the evening, right up to and including the final vote tabulations.

Our campaign headquarters is located in Study Room 1 on the second floor of the Tewksbury Public Library. Feel free to stop by and say hello, chat politics or voice any concerns.

You can also make comments and ask questions throughout the day in the comments section of this blog and I'll do my best to answer as best I can.

The weather is perfect for voting today! We're told that turnout has been a bit light this morning but election officials are hoping things pick up this afternoon. Polls will be open at both the Senior Center and the Library until 8 p.m.

Jade April 07, 2011 at 04:24 PM
I myself understood the question on the Sewer Debt, but it seems to me that a lot of people were confused the way it was worded. I understand some voters asked the poll workers to explain the question to them, which might be the reason why there were so many that didn't even vote on the question. (Didn't know if it required a yes or no). Putting the question at the very bottom of the ballot does make it look like you wanted voters that don't read everything to overlook it. Another vote on this question I feel is in order.
TONY D April 07, 2011 at 05:04 PM
I completely agree. And a simple "Do you want 50% of the sewer debt to be transferred to the tax base" should be the question rather than the way it was worded on the 4/2/2011 ballot. Then a simple - yes or no - would be the answer. That would probably be too easy to do. Not enough legalese verbiage.
Kathleen Brothers April 07, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Bonnie, I feel the same way you do. I found out from some poll workersl after the elction that voters did not understand the question. As I understand it now, we will be voting at the Town Meeting on the question again. Someone correct me if I am wrong. I think the "new" town moderator will make certain that people at the town meeting understand the question before they vote. I read something that Keith Rauseo wrote on another site yesterday and he seems dedicated to making sure the people understand everything at town meeting. But if the will of the people is for another ballot vote, I think that is in order also. But, it seems like that is a very big deal from a legal standpoint. Very interesting debate.
Karyn April 07, 2011 at 07:11 PM
While the wording on the ballot left something to be desired, it's been said that it (the wording) is in the hands of the legislature from whence it came and thus cannot be altered by the individual town. I wouldn't anticipate any reasoning behind another ballot vote....consider the expense to the town...and given that there were plenty of opportunities, public forums etc. for the voters to get "unconfused" in advance of election day. One was even held at the SENIOR CENTER during the DAY for just that reason. Even if there were to be a mere "re-count" given the closeness of the vote, it would require someone to collect signatures from at least ten resident registered voters from EACH precinct, present them to the Town Clerk's office for verification and things would proceed from there.
Jade April 07, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Kathleen, I hope what you said will turn out to be true. Maybe at the Town Meeting all those people that did not know how to vote at the polls, will show up and vote at the Town Meeting. This will eliminate all the blanks that were on the ballots. I am sure that the margin of yes and no votes will not be within 30 votes. Thank you for your response to me.


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