Democrats Rule in Barrington
Democratic candidates grab the majority on both the Town Council and the School Committee; both incumbent Democrats grab the House District 66 and 67 seats.
Democrats rule in Barrington.
Democrats took the three seats up for grabs on the Town Council in Tuesday's election, with 926 emergency and mail ballots still to be counted: Incumbents June Speakman and Kate Weymouth and Planning Board member Ann Strong.
Two Democrats took two of the three seats up for grabs on the School Committee: Incumbent Robert Shea Jr. and newcomer Paula Dominguez. Republican Patrick Guida took the other seat.
And Barrington's incumbent Democratic legislators in Districts 66 and 67 won re-election: Joy Hearn and Jan Malik.
"I am relieved and humbled," said Speakman about her re-election to the Town Council. "I think this validated our program. I am fired up and ready to move forward."
She was especially excited about the fact that voters favored her and her running mate, Kate Weymouth, as the top two vote-getting candidates.
"I am thrilled," said Weymouth. "I am very pleased that people found my name on the ballot. It's great to be validated, and I am honored to continue serving."
Both Shea and Dominguez used the word "thrilled" as well to describe their victories, which shifts the balance of political power back to the Democrats by a 3-2 margin. What that means in terms of the leadership of the School Committee remains to be seen.
"We'll need to caucus soon," said Shea, who served as chairman for a short while until a special election shifted control of the School Committee to the Republicans.
Here are the official numbers:
2012 Barrington Election Results
Town Council (elect 3)
|June Speakman (D)||4,701||x|
|Shirley Applegate-Lockridge (R)||3,073|
|Ann Strong (D)||3,763||x|
|Margaret Kane (R)||3,604|
|Kate Weymouth (D)||4,264||x|
|Donald Nessing (R)||3,237|
School Committee (elect 3)
|Paula Dominguez (D)||4,475||x|
|Patrick Guida (R)||5,123||x|
|Robert Shea Jr. (D)||4,481||x|
|Christopher Ramsden (R)||3,478|
|Meaghan Ramsden (R)||3,741|
Senate District 32
|David Bates (R)||5,934||x|
House District 66
|Joy Hearn (D)||3,856||x|
|Manfred Diel Jr. (R)||2,343|
|Eugene Saveory (I)||762|
House District 67
|Jan Malik (D)||3,382||x|
|Peter Costa Jr. (R)||2,707|
Scores of voters turned out to vote in Barrington. And voters kept coming and coming all day at all the polls.
But the final turnout of 63.6 percent of voters was still less than four years ago, when 73 percent of registered voters came.
"At 6:45 am, they were lined up down the halls," said Anne Stoppe, a poll worker at Barrington High School. "And it's been very, very busy all day. It finally slowed down at bit at around 2:15 pm."
By that time, approximately 1,000 ballots had been cast, said Paul Dulchinos, another poll worker at the high school.
"They never stopped all day," said Anne Znosko, a poll worker at Barrington Middle School. "They were lined up before we opened."
Cherri Pace, a moderator at the middle school, agreed with Znosko.
"We were swamped between 7 and 8:15 am," she said. "And it has kept going."
"And there were so many first-time voters," added Znosko. "That's so good to see."
More than 1,220 voters had cast ballots by mid-afternoon at the middle school.
"There were at least 30 people when we opened the doors," said Martha Wallick, a moderator at Nayatt School.
"And from 7 to 10 am," said Burt Grieffer, a longtime supervisor, "they were down the hall."
Approximately 1,110 voters had cast ballots at Nayatt by mid-afternoon.
"From 7 to 11:45 am, it was just steady and straight through," said Jim McClelland, a moderator at the Hampden Meadows School.
By around 3:30 pm, he said, 1,341 voters had pushed paper ballots into the ballot counting machine.
"It's been incredible here," said Jedd Sullivan, a warden and moderator at the Sowams School.
By around 4 pm, Sullivan said, more than 1,325 ballots had been cast.
The polls closed at 8 pm -- an hour earlier than in past elections. Perhaps that caused the final turnout to tumble.
Soon after the polls closed, Barrington had a new member of the Town Council, a new member of the School Committee and the same legislators to represent them in the General Assembly.
Besides the large number of races on the ballot, there were seven state ballot questions -- including whether Twin River and Newport Grand should be turned into full-fledge casinos. Barrington voters favored both casinos by wide margins.
Scores of voters did up at the wrong polling places, according to workers at every poll. Many went to the place they have always voted in the past, but redistricting changed many of the boundaries.
For the first time, voters had to bring an ID with them to the polling place -- another new change in Rhode Island this year.
Because the polls closed an hour earlier than in the past, there was the possibility that some voters would show up after 8. But if they were in line when the polls closed at 8 pm, they were allowed to vote.
Barrington has 13,984 registered voters -- slightly more than half of them (7,010) unaffiliated with a party.
Democrats make up 32 percent of registered voters (4,488). Republicans make up about 18 percent (2,486). There are 22 Moderates.