GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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November 6, 2012

Spirited voters flock to polls in region

Crank, ding!

With that, the Rockport Elementary School precinct collected its 1,250th ballot by about 4 p.m. Tuesday, fed into the old fashioned hand-crank voting machine by an ecstatic first time voter.

“I am super excited,” Li Vandeventer said, bouncing on her toes and pumping her fists in the air.

Vandeventer, who turned 19 in October, had just cast her first-ever presidential ballot Tuesday in the Rockport school’s band room.

“It’s my voice in the country,” Vandeventer said. “I’m Asian and I’m adopted and I’ve always felt a little out of place. But now I can vote and have my voice heard as an American.”

Rockport Police Officer Peter Griffin stood by with a key to the old machine, ready to empty the wooden box each time ballots reached its brim throughout the day. Griffin said the voting at Rockport Elementary had run smoothly throughout the day.

Sarah van Gulden said she, like many others, showed up at the polls to honor a civic duty.

“I believe it’s our duty as citizens,” Sarah van Gulden said. “I’m glad I can do it when a lot of people in the world can’t.”

In Lanesville, about 20 residents eager to vote lined up outside the community center ready about 30 minutes before polls opened at 7 a.m. And those voters set the tone for the steady feed of residents throughout the day, according to City Clerk Linda T. Lowe, working the polls as well Tuesday morning. Lanesville had seen 1,010 voters by 3 p.m. — then collected another 132 ballots in the next half hour.

“We haven’t even really been hit yet,” Lowe said, expecting the after work crowd.

A black Labrador retriever named Maggie sauntered around the community room, tilting her head to check out the tables and gently sniffing at kids, while her owner Bob Spaner waited to vote.

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