As the counting rang down on tight election races on both the national and state levels, Cape Ann’s towns tallied vote totals revealing voter turnouts far above the national rate.
Of registered voters in Essex, 93 percent cast ballots in the town’s singular precinct, according to Town Clerk Christina Wright. The national turnout was about 60 percent. And while long lines were seen across the country, Essex didn’t escape that scenario, either. Wright estimated that 30 or 40 residents had lined up to vote at the fire station doors before the polling place even opened.
“Overall, throughout the country there was a lot of buzz about this election, and people (in Essex) wanted their voices to be heard,” Wright said. “Local issues and the questions excited people too. They wanted to have their input on that.”
Essex followed the nation’s lead in voting for President Barack Obama’s re-election, with 1,154 of the 2,168 voters choosing the Obama ticket and 962 voting for Romney. Another 28 voters picked Libertarian Gary Johnson, 14 pulled for the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and 9 left the presidential section blank or wrote in a name.
In state races, Essex voted opposite of the rest of the state, favoring Republican candidates.
Despite losing the state election to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, Republican incumbent Scott Brown won Essex’s Senate race vote. Likewise, Republican Richard Tisei won Essex’s approval in the town’s vote, but lost to incumbent Congressman John Tierney.
In the Senate race, 1,200 Essex voters cast ballots favoring Brown, while 952 filled in the Warren bubble on the ballot. Tisei grabbed only five more Essex votes than Tierney, capturing 1,004 votes, while Libertarian Daniel Fishman garnered 93 Essex votes, and 70 voters declined to vote for a representative candidate.
Manchester’s voters — 89 percent of whom cast votes — matched Essex’s candidate choices, with Manchester residents also favoring Obama, Brown and Tisei.