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Local vote for Hillary, Mitt   (MA)
Charles Winokoor    Gate House News Service   07 February 2008

Taunton - Score it a landslide victory for Hillary and a squeaker of a decision in favor of Mitt.

The local turnout was fairly big Tuesday as 35 percent of registered voters in the Silver City went to the polls to cast votes in the 2008 Super Tuesday presidential primary election.

The most lopsided victory was Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama — a nearly three-to-one margin with 6,115 votes for Clinton and 2,144 for Obama, according to the unofficial tally of all eight wards and 16 polling places in the city.

The Republican side was a closer contest, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney getting 234 more votes than Arizona Sen. John McCain. The total in the city was 1,348 for Romney and 1,114 for McCain.

The only other candidates collecting more than 100 votes were Democrat John Edwards with 156 and Republican Mike Huckabee with 152.The 35 percent primary turnout this election year far eclipsed the 11 percent recorded in 2004 when George W. Bush faced off against Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, according to records in the City Clerk’s office. All told, of 32,111 registered voters in Taunton, 11,346 exercised their civic duty and cast ballots for the party candidate of their choice.

The unofficial count wasn’t tallied until 10 p.m. due to an earlier technical glitch, City Clerk Rosie Blackwell said. Blackwell said votes from precincts A and B of Ward 4 — whose polling stations were at the Joseph Martin and East Taunton Elementary schools — had to be counted and recorded separately.

The reason for the extra work, she said, was a result of a problem she detected last Friday with regard to the memory card the city received from LHS Associates of Methuen — the company that provided the voting machines.

Blackwell said the problem was not serious and in no way compromised the integrity of the voting process. But she did say she and her associates had to improvise and create a new form to specifically accommodate Ward 4 returns.

The Clinton win in Taunton was in line with the New York senator’s numbers throughout the state, which as of Wednesday were reported to have been about a 15-point margin over Obama.


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