With no contested selectmen’s race and with only two contested town-wide races on the ballot, turnout was remarkably low for Tuesday’s annual town election.
Just nine percent of Stoughton voters made their way to the polls on a rainy April day. At times there were more people working at the polls than there were actually voting.
Patricia Martini, a poll worker at precinct five at the Gibbons School said it was “sad that so many people don’t show up” and that it is a “shame” that you have to have a race for governor or president to get people to cast a ballot.
Precinct five (167 ballots) had the second-lowest voter turnout. However, across the Gibbons gym, precinct four had the largest turnout, with 352 ballots cast. Precinct four was just one of two precincts with contested Town Meeting representative races, perhaps explaining the higher turnout.
In all, 1,585 Stoughton residents cast a ballot.
“We have to amuse ourselves to keep ourselves awake,” joked one poll worker at the O’Donnell Middle School (precinct 8). Only 88 people voted in that precinct all day.
In the School Committee race incumbent Deborah Sovinee was the top-vote getter with 792 votes. George Dolinsky came in second, and was elected to the second open seat with 663 votes.
Incumbent Dr. Erdem Ural came in third with 588 votes and Jeffrey Benson came in fourth with 572 votes. Dr. Ural came in second in precincts 6 and 7 and won precinct 8, while Benson came in second in precinct 2, but it was not enough to knock Sovinee and Dolinsky from the top two spots.
Dr. Ural, first elected to the School Committee in 2008, did win a Town Meeting seat in precinct seven this year.
Former Selectman Louis Gitto won a five-year seat on the Redevelopment Authority, beating Donna Ayers 765-620. Gitto was aided by a strong showing in precinct four (204-113), where he also won a Town Meeting seat. Gitto edged Ayers 561-507 in the other seven precincts.
Precinct four also propelled Sovinee to the top of the ticket for School Committee, with Sovince carrying her precinct by 86 votes (213-127 over Dolinsky).
First elected in 2008, Selectmen Steve Anastos and John Anzivino were both running unopposed for second terms on the B.O.S. In what amounts to little more than bragging rights, Anzivino edged Anastos 1,038 to 1,010, aided by a strong showing in precinct four. Anastos had a small edge in precinct three, but the two essentially ran even in the other six precincts.
Howard Hansen, running unopposed for Town Moderator, was the top vote getter across the ballot, with 1,078 votes.
Arthur Slate was reelected to a five-year seat on the Housing Authority, while Richard Jasmin, Jr. won a three-year seat on the Housing Authority.
Scott Hersee, Sr. won a two-year seat on the Redevelopment Authority. Hersee, was appointed to the Redevelopment Authority when Sovinee resigned to serve on the School Committee last year.
The town voted to approve the charter amendment proposed by the 2010 Town Meeting, which requires town-wide candidates to file nomination papers 49 days before a preliminary town election and Town Meeting representative candidates to file 49 days before the annual town election. The current period is 35 days before a preliminary town election and 35 days before the annual town election, respectively.
77.7 percent of voters supported the amendment, while 10.7 percent opposed the measure. 11.7 percent cast a blank.
In the races for Town Meeting representative, selectmen John Stagnone, John Anderson and Cynthia Walsh all won election.
Precinct four featured a crowded field of candidates for Town Meeting representative, with 13 people running for seven positions. Some familiar names topped the ticket: Louis Gitto (199), Roberta Camacho (188), Barry Crimmins (182), John Stagnone (133) and John Anderson (113). Robert Germain (98) edged out three others, including former town manager Mark Stankiewicz (93) for the final spot.
Ten candidates were vying for eight spots in precinct two. Cynthia Walsh (129) was the top vote getter, followed by Stephen Bates (111), Scott Carrara (110) and About Town columnist Mark Snyder (106). Heidee Anastos (94), Richard Hill (93), John O’Meara (80) and Joaquin Soares, Jr. (59) rounded out the winners.
John Linehan (126) finished first for Town Meeting representative in precinct one; Lori Ann Glover (130) came in first in precinct three; Dennis Walsh (94) came in first in precinct five; Mother Knows Best columnist Christine Iacobucci (110) came in first in precinct six; Candace Fisher (100) came in first in precinct seven; and Frances Stetson (53) came in first in precinct eight.
Voter turnout by precinct:
Precinct 1 (Dawe): 179
Precinct 2 (Jones): 220
Precinct 3 (South): 210
Precinct 4 (Gibbons): 352
Precinct 5: (Gibbons): 167
Precinct 6 (Hansen): 195
Precinct 7 (West): 174
Precinct 8 (OMS): 88
Complete election results are in the media gallery above.