By Mac Cerullo Staff Writer
Newburyport Daily News
---- — AMESBURY — Amesbury residents came out in droves to vote on Tuesday, packing the Amesbury High School cafeteria for one of the largest voter turnouts in the city’s history.
City Clerk Bonnijo Kitchin said 8,443 total ballots were cast in Amesbury on Election Day, good for a 75.4 percent total voter turnout. Roughly the same number of people voted this year as in the 2008 election, despite there being 700 fewer registered voters in Amesbury now compared to that year.
Kitchin said she was happy with the turnout, saying the turnout met her expectations.
“I figured it was going to be about that, and I think it worked out really well,” Kitchin said, adding that the new polling location at the AHS cafeteria was a huge success that helped avoid some major congestion and confusion.
“If it had been held at City Hall, it would’ve been horrendous,” she said. “I think the whole town would’ve been in a standstill because of the traffic.”
According to the unofficial results, Amesbury voters overwhelmingly supported the Democrats. Scott Brown was the only Republican favored by Amesbury residents, and conversely, he was also the only candidate supported by the city who did not go on to win election.
As expected, Carriagetown came out in strong support of Barack Obama. The president carried Amesbury with 4,817 votes (57.2 percent) compared to Mitt Romney’s 3,446 votes (40.92 percent). Amesbury’s results closely followed the statewide numbers, which had Obama (61 percent) well ahead of Romney (38 percent).
In the U.S. Senate race, Amesbury opted for incumbent Republican Scott Brown. Brown collected 4,345 votes (51.76 percent) versus Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s 4,039 (48.12 percent).
Overall, Brown performed well on the North Shore, but he did not fare as well statewide, losing to Warren 54 to 46 percent, thanks in large part to the overwhelming support she received in Boston and the surrounding area. Warren won Boston, Brookline, Newton, Somerville and Chelsea with over two-thirds of the vote, and in her hometown of Cambridge she blasted Brown with 85 percent of the votes.
In the hotly contested battle for the 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat John Tierney edged out Republican challenger Richard Tisei in Amesbury. Tierney collected 4,034 votes (49.6 percent), roughly 500 more than Tisei’s total of 3,597 (44.23 percent).
Tierney and Tisei’s race was too close to call well into Election Night, but by yesterday it was clear that Tierney had won re-elected by the slimmest of margins, 48 to 47 percent. Tierney’s one-point win is his closest margin of victory since his first election in 1996.
The 1st Essex District state Senate race broke heavily in Kathleen O’Connor Ives’ favor, both in Amesbury and across the district. The Newburyport Democrat dominated Amesbury with 3,739 votes (47.5 percent), beating out Republican challenger Shaun Toohey’s 2,051 votes (26.1 percent), Amesbury independent Jim Kelcourse’s 1,624 votes (20.6 percent) and Haverhill independent Paul Magliocchetti’s 448 votes (5.7 percent).
Ives won the Senate seat by a similar margin district-wide, earning 46 percent of the total. Toohey performed better elsewhere to earn 34 percent of the vote and Magliocchetti performed far better closer to Haverhill to garner 16 percent. Kelcourse, who is an Amesbury City Councilor, did not fare well outside of Amesbury, earning just 4 percent of the total district-wide.
Amesbury residents voted in favor of all three binding ballot questions, as well as the two non-binding ones.
Question 1, which deals with the “Right to Repair” law that will require automakers to give owners access to the same diagnostic and repair information that dealers have, garnered 88.5 percent of the Amesbury vote. It was passed statewide in a landslide.
Question 2, which would allow terminally ill patients the right to end their own life through prescribed medication, collected 55.3 percent of the Amesbury vote. The measure was defeated statewide by a thin margin of 51 percent no to 49 percent yes.
Question 3, which will legalize medical marijuana in the state for people meeting certain conditions, earned 69.5 percent of the Amesbury vote. The measure was overwhelmingly passed statewide with 63 percent of the vote.