Photo: Counting early ballots
More than four out of five registered voters cast ballots as Belmont residents came out in near record numbers to participate in the 2016 Presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Lines queued at each of the town’s eight polling sites before 7 a.m. as residents took the opportunity to vote in what many hoped was a historic election.
And at 10 p.m. when the unofficial final results were tallied, Belmont’s left-leaning reputation was varified as voters gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a solid win over Republican Donald Trump:
- Hillary Clinton (D) 10,233 71%
- Donald Trump (R) 3,102 21%
- Gary Johnson (Lib) 560 4%
- Jill Stein (Green) 237 2%
When early voting and absentee ballots were added to the tally from the precincts, 14,667 residents cast ballots out of 17,826 registered voter or 82.2 percent.
Belmont outpaced the rest of the state as the former US Secretary of State and former First Lady garnered 61 percent of the vote statewide compared to 33 percent to the businessman and television personality.
Clinton’s vote total is the most by a presidential candidate in Belmont, beating out both of President Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012.
But Belmont could not help Clinton as she was swamped by Trump nationwide.
On the four ballot questions, Belmont voted against more charter schools, for chickens and just said no to token around the town.
On Question 2, Belmont voters rejected the measure which would have allowed a significant expansion of charter schools in Massachusetts 63 percent to 37 percent (10,716 to 3,300) which nearly matched the statewide vote, 62 percent to 38 percent.
Belmont voters joined the majority of state voters who were high on Question 4 which allows smoking marijuana whenever the feeling strikes them, 52 percent to 48 percent. Residents can now light up on the “up and up” on Dec. 15 – for a “Merry Wanta Christmas” as Cheech and Chung said in their act – with pot supermarkets coming in 2018.
Finally, Belmont residents showed their kindness by overwhelmingly supporting Question 3 which bans the sale of foods derived from animals raised in cruel confined conditions, passing 80 percent to 20 percent, two percentage points higher than the state total. The ballot question sets new rules on the size of cages in which farmers can raise chickens, cows and pigs.