UPDATE: We are getting a report of a broken voting machine in 3-2 which could slow things down. This is not good news for Sefatia who really needs to drive turnout in the downtown strongholds.
Today is the day, citizens of Bivalve Nation! Have you voted? If you haven’t stop reading this and go do that now, unless you are reading this on your phone in line to vote, in which case you should just wait your turn. Got it? Good.
A few notes about the upcoming coverage of Clam the Vote 2015, Snarkformation edition:
- Cape Ann TV will be covering the event from City Hall live on channels 12, 20 and 67 starting at 8:00pm. They are not livestreaming on the Internet because reasons (rolls eyes). Meredith Fine will be hosting and Heidi Dallin will be reporting on results as they come in. We’re told they will be interviewing candidates, covering the action and shooting B-roll for CATV’s upcoming erotic miniseries “Dalliance on Dale Ave” coming out this Spring.
- Your beloved The Clam will be live-blogging starting at like 7:45 or something. We’re going to snark on the CATV feed while drinking and eating leftover Halloween candy and between the time when the results start to come in and us succumbing to a diabetic/alcohol-induced coma there should be some funny. We will also be posting results and will have a live Google spreadsheet. For the liveblog we’ll screenshot, but we’ll give a link you can jump on if you want real-time results as we get them. We tried to find a plug-in for WordPress that converted goodocs to HTML but everything looked like dogcrap so this is the best work-around. City IT superstar James Pope should be thanked heartily for helping us get the #s as they come in, BTW. Clamplause for James!
- Turnout: So far as we’ve heard reports, turnout has been better than usual for a local election. At post time East Gloucester Wards 1-1 and 1-2 were about 1,400 combined, last year they totaled about 2,500 out of 4k registered. The big surprise is 5-1 with 854 votes and 5-2 with 755/2367 registered before even the end-of-day push. Likely the Fonveille/Nolan race plus the Verga write-in campaign is pushing turnout there which is good. Post to the Clam Facebook page with turnout numbers if you have them and we’ll try and keep everyone updated.
Everyone should be ready for things to get weird tonight. Not just because someone could have spiked our kid’s Reeces with PCP as we know folks in East Gloucester are fond of doing, but because of the projected large number of write-ins.
See, the way the optical ballot scanners work is they take a picture of the ballot and look for where the marks are supposed to be. If there are write-ins, the ballot is “rejected” for hand counting. Because Clam-endorsed Candidate Greg Verga is running as a write-in, there will be a lot of ballots rejected in every ward because he’s running at-large.
So what? Well, what if the races are close? We’ll know the number of rejected ballots but if, say, one candidate has 3k votes and another has 2k votes and there are 1,200 write-ins to be counted, then who won? We won’t know until those ballots are hand counted and certified just like in the old days when they would tally via bloodmarks from a sacrificial ox on the wall of the temple (Gloucester gave up that system in favor of optical scanners in the mid-90’s). Pro tip to Meridith: wear comfortable shoes and get ready to talk a lot about how great the City Hall restoration turned out, beginning with the history of Second Empire influenced Victorian structures. It could be a long night.
So there goes. We look forward to seeing everyone tonight, thanks for all the nice posts and comments we didn’t have to delete because obvious crazyperson. Let’s make sure this whole thing is handled with a generalized sense of decorum of which in all honesty we as a city are not particularly known for. But it’s a skill we should cultivate for certain occasions such as this such as funerals or being arraigned.
Could come in handy.