Belmont Patch will be following the events and results in national and state races in Belmont throughout Tuesday with photos, videos and written reports. You can view the updates by following the site on Twitter and Facebook.
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Once 8 p.m. comes, a police officer will get to the end of the line and no one else can vote.
But don't expect quick results as most polling stations have hundreds of absentee ballots to count. It could be 9 p.m. before results come in.
Lines are at all eight polling stations as the town will likely see more than 16,000 out of the 17,800 voters take out ballots. That's 2,000 voters in each precinct or about 100 voters per hour. That is tremendous work by the poll workers.
It is a historic voting day in Belmont which saw registered voters come out to vote in two competative races – the US senate race between Brown and Warren and for state rep with Rogers, Gammill and Olson – and for the next president which could be Belmont's Mitt Romney.
There is now only three left to vote. Expect lines and waits so get in line now.
It's heavy out there; as in it a "heavy" vote out in the precincts in Belmont. The word is being used by the Town Clerk's office and it's in evidence all over town. The evidence so far is that Ellen Cushman's prediction of record voting participation is right on schedule.
The four precincts Belmont Patch visited were filled with voters with most of the booths occupied. Precinct warrants said that early morning voted was, as one called it, "a zoo;" lines and longish waits to cast ballots.
Here are the hard numbers for four precincts in Belmont:
OK, leaving "HQ" and heading for each of Belmont's eight precincts to catch up on the hard numbers (and vote at Precinct 6) and seek out out candidates. And guess what, here is Dave Rogers with his brain trust and nephew in Belmont Center still seeking votes. He will hear the results at 99 Blanchard Rd. just after 8 p.m.
Belmont Center is filled with people wearing "I voted today" stickers. The secretary of state and Ellen Cushman, the town's town clerk, just might be right predicting a record voter turnout.
On surprising note from today; many voters brought their children to the polling stations and in some cases, high school students – many soccer players – came out to cheer, hold signs and debate the issues. Their explanation: by participating in the election process, their children will learn more about democracy that simply reading about it in a book.
ABC News reports that "Mitt and Ann Romney cast their ballots this morning, the candidate saying that he’s feeling “very good” about his chances today." Although the network has them voting in "Bedford." Well, at least they are close to BELMONT.
Well, that was fun. A group of local media types, including me, my colleague from Newton Patch, Melanie Graham, Belmont Media Center's Jeff Hansell, the Boston Globe's Evan Allen, a Globe photog and Jim Walker, an outstanding nationally-recognized photojournalist, were invited by Town Clerk Ellen Cushman to take part reporting Mitt Romney voting at the Beech Street Center. First we got "screened" by a sniffer dog then got to wait around for an hour for the Romneys to show up, talking to poll workers, officials and voters. It was fun until the media that follows the candidate arrived. One extremely snotty video "artist" was upset that he couldn't get a perferred spot where Graham was located. "Are you taking personal photos with that camera?" he blurted. "I'm taking video because it's my job," she said. SNAP! Finally the room cleared of the crowd inside, the Romney's arrived, voted and left. But it was still exciting. See the photo of Mitt and Ann walking across the Center's main floor.
A nice handmade sign was displayed just inside the fence on Town Field.
"Belmont Kids vote for Romney" read the sign.
But while it looked first to be a Mitt Romney political sign, it was, in fact, a congradulary banner to the Belmont resident, according to the three sisters who made it.
Olivia (10), Victoria (12) and Alexandra Zarkadas (8) created the banner to say they were proud of the candidate and wants him to be the 45th President "because it will great for this home town," said Victoria.
Michael Keyes' appearance would suggest that he really wanted to be the first person at Precinct 2's Town Hall polling station: despite the cold morning (temperatures in the high 20s), Keyes was wearing plastic water shoes that looked like Crocs.
"I took the shoes that were closest to the door," said Keyes, who lives with his family on Stella Road. He explained that he has three children – six, five and three – and he needed to be quiet so not to wake up his brood.
"This is very exciting to be first in line and this is something everyone should do," he said in his prime position just outside the Board of Selectmen's Room on the second floor. Behind him the line snaked down the stairs and headed to the front doors.
Saw my first candidate of the day: Jim Gammill and his wife, Susan, dressed warm and ready to greet voters. Not the last candidate who'll cross Belmont Patch's path.
I'm at Belmont Patch headquarters for the day – Starbucks on Leonard Street – having just been at the Beech Street Center. It's surprisingly quiet with news trucks parked along Waverley Street – which is closed – and a few cold media types waiting for the top and bottom of the hour to broadcast from the site where Mitt and Ann Romney will vote. The dedicated poll workers – including former Selectman Ann Marie Mahoney and Belmont Historic Society's Viktoria Haase – were let in by the Secret Service right at 6 a.m.
How close is this election going to be? The voters at Dixville Notch, NH gave five votes each to Romney and Obama, the first time there has ever been a tie. Four years ago, Obama won 15 to six over John McCain.
It's midnight on election day 2012 in Belmont. Many people understood it would be a special day for residents back in June 2011 when Mitt Romney announced his intentions to run once again for the Republican Presidential nomination.
And even at this hour, Belmont is preparing from the coming crush of media, protesters and gawkers who will surround the Beech Street Center where the candidate and his wife, Ann, will vote in just over eight hours. "No Parking" signs are being put on street posts and barriers put around the Center by town cops.