It was hardly a surprise for the Town Clerk’s staff that Mitt Romney won the Republican primary in Arlington last night.
They expected that Massachusetts would choose its former governor who received 72.17 percent of the town’s support with 1,862 votes.
And it wasn’t shocking to those working with Town Clerk Stephanie L. Lucarelli that there would be a low turnout for Super Tuesday in Arlington with 17 percent of the 28,851 registered voters (4,783 cards were cast) coming to the polls.
“We didn’t expect a large number of people would be voting today,” Lucarelli said a short while after the polls closed. “We received some calls from people asking if this was just a Republican primary and that may have had something to do with it (as well as the fact that) Barack Obama is running unopposed.”
William Forristall, chairman of the Board of Registrars, agreed that the president being unopposed at this point contributed to a lighter turnout than the presidential primary in February 2008 with 63 percent of registered voters (28,676) casting ballots when both the Democratic and Republican parties had competitive contests.
“It’s unopposed for the Democrats,” he said about Tuesday’s primary. “And the Republican Party is in such disarray that people have lost interest.”
Last night, 285 Arlington residents voted for Ron Paul (11.05 percent); 280 for Rick Santorum (10.85 percent); 87 for Newt Gingrich (3.37 percent); 27 for Jon Huntsman (1.05 percent); 16 with no preference (.62 percent); nine write-in votes (.35 percent); 8 for Michelle Bachmann (.31 percent); and 6 for Rick Perry (.23 percent).
In the Democratic primary, Barack Obama received 1858 votes (88.60 percent) with 199 stating no preference (9.49 percent) and 40 write in votes (1.91 percent).
Twenty people cast votes for the Green Party, with Jill Stein receiving 15 (75 percent); Kent Mesplay, and Harley Mikkelson each receiving one vote (5 percent). Two people had no preference (10 percent).
For the male member of the Democratic State Committee, Robert D. Peters won with 99.18 percent of the vote (1,578); and the female was D. Sirotkin Butler wit 98.89 percent (1,686).
The Republican State Committee winners are Anthony M. Ventresca with 1.367 votes (98.77 percent) and Helen A. Hatch with 1,373 votes (99.06 percent).
Sean Harrington, 18, the chairman elect of the Arlington Town Republican Committee, said he definitely expected a low turnout for the primary.
He knows he’s in the minority in Arlington with 2,128 registered Republicans versus 13,641 Democrats out of 28,944 voters.
“We all know that Romney is going to win in Massachusetts,” he said just before 8 p.m. when the polls closed. “But, no matter who wins the nomination, we are determined to make our presence known.”
And it was an exciting night for Sean when he learned that he received the most votes for the Arlington Republican Town Committee – 1,076 or 5.25 percent.