Primary: Trump, Clinton Top Belmont as Voters Came Out in Force

Photo: Dana Harrington of Holt Street feeling the “Bern.”

Twenty-two Belmont voters were waiting to vote at the door leading into the gym to cast their ballot in the Massachusetts Presidential Primary on Tuesday, March 1. 

What was unusual was the voters were in line at the Burbank Elementary, at Precinct 7 whose citizens are known for their leisurely voting practices. 

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The line at Precinct 7 at the Burbank School.

Whether it was the slew of candidates, a national focus on the vote or the beautiful weather, Belmont’s residents came out to vote Monday.

And on a day where nearly three out of five eligible voters went to the polls, Belmont followed the state’s preference for giving its collective nod to Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton in the big races of the day.

Officially, 57 percent of registered voters came out to vote, compared to 23 percent in 2012. Tuesday’s vote was more than the 9,616 votes cast in 2008 when Pres. Obama topped Clinton by 400 votes.

Full results can be found at the Town Clerk’s web page.

Trump was the clear victor among Belmont’s voters who took Republican ballots receiving 1,080 votes, nearly 400 votes better than Ohio Gov. John Kasich (689) and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (655). Texas Sen. Ted Cruz received 211 followed by Dr. Ben Carson (43) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (25). 

As a percentage, Trump took two of every five Belmont voters (39  percent) compared to a quarter of the electorate who selected Kasich and Rubio. 

Statewide, Trump garnered a much wider margin, 49 percent of Massachusetts voters chose the Republican frontrunner. Kasich took in 18 percent and Rubio 17 percent. 

“We need a complete overhaul of Washington, and it can’t be done with people who have anything to do with that place,” said a Belmont resident holding a sign for Steven Aylward, the Watertown residents who won the Republican State Committee district position that includes Belmont.

The resident did not want to give his name “since I have to live [in Belmont]” which he called “deciding left of center.”

His opinion of wishing to keep his conservative leanings from his fellow residents was somewhat justified by two voters who were exiting the Burbank school after voting at Precinct 7.

“She’s a Republican?” asked one about a neighbor of theirs. “But she seems so normal!”

Over on the Democrat side, the enthusiasm surrounding the candidacy of socialist populist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders could not overcome the establishment’s choice as former senator and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton clearly won Belmont by nearly 1,000 votes, 4,031 to 3,029, or 57 percent to 43 percent.

Clinton’s margin was much closer to the state, as she defeated Sanders with 51 percent of the ballot, as opposed to 48 percent,

“Personal problems aside, Hilary will make a good president,” said Lynne Wright of Cedar Road, a “lifelong Democrat” whose 12-year-old daughter is “a huge Hilary fan.” 

“She wants to see a woman President,” said Wright outside Precinct 1 at the Belmont Public Library. 

Standing at the traditional “sign holding” site across from the commuter rail tunnel at the intersection of Common and Concord, Dana Harrington was holding a homemade “flaming” sign to go with Bernie Sanders placards.  

“I’ve never done this before,” said the Holt Street resident concerning holding a political sign.

“But we have to take back our government from the corporate special interests and [Sanders] is the only one who is saying what needs to be said.”

Over at the Beech Street Center, 22-year-old Isaiah Berson of Harding Avenue said it probably didn’t come as any surprise that someone his age was voting for Sanders.

“I really admire that he’s not a standard politician who is beholden to the corporate infrastructure,” he said. “I have a problem with other candidates who are untrustworthy and whose judgment has been poor.” 

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Presidential Primary Day: Live Blog Updated All Day

Photo: Precinct 1 is open and busy.

2 p.m.: Voter’s participation running high in Belmont

Four years ago, it seemed as if half the world’s media had descended on Belmont for the Presidential Primary as the one-time resident and eventual Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was voting at his home precinct at the Beech Street Center.

Satelite television trucks, bus loads of press from around the country and world and secruity forces clogged Beech Street as the spectical attracted residents and people from around the area.

What it didn’t do was increase voter turnout. In 2012, in which both parties were fairly secure in their national candidates – President Obama was running unopposed and Romney was stretching his lead in the Repubican primary – turn out in Belmont was fairly anemic, just under 23 percent of voters casted ballots for a total of 3,835 residents taking the time to vote.

This year, with active races in both parties, Belmontians are taking advantage of the great weather to make their ways to their polling places, according to Belmont’s Town Clerk Ellen Cushman.

“We are averaging 500 to 600 voters so far,” said Cushman at 1 p.m., which translates with about 30 percent participation, far exceeding the last primary’s total.

Cushman said Belmont could see up to 50 percent participation if trends hold steady.

Letter to the Editor: Town Dems, Consider A Vote for Owens

Photo: Steve Owens 

To the editor:

If you choose a Democratic ballot in the presidential primary on March 1, you will find that Clinton and Sanders are not the only candidates on the ballot.

Please remember the name of Steve Owens. He’s running for Democratic State Committee, the official leaders of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts. I believe he has earned our consideration for that position.

Steve has chaired the Watertown Democratic Town Committee (DTC) since 2008, in addition to leading the Watertown campaigns for numerous statewide and local elections, including the successful campaigns of US Senator Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Deval Patrick. Steve has collaborated closely with the Belmont DTC through joint events and campaign activities, and he is highly respected by his partners in Belmont. As a tireless volunteer with tremendous leadership capabilities, organization skills, and insight, Steve will serve our community well.

Please join me in voting for Steve Owens on the Democratic Primary Ballot on March 1.

Ellen Schreiber

Town Meeting Member, Precinct 8

The FYI on Voting in the ‘Super Tuesday’ Presidential Primary Next Week

Photo: Belmont votes next Tuesday.

Ready to vote in next week’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primary? It’s a little trickier than a regular election for several reasons so Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman has released a primer on casting a ballot next Tuesday, March 1. 


Your enrollment as a voter will determine which party ballot you may vote at that ballot box.

There are four political parties in Massachusetts. If you are enrolled in one of these four political parties, when you go to the polls to vote March 1, 2016, but you can only vote the ballot for that specific party:

  • D – Democratic Party
  • R – Republican Party
  • J – Green-Rainbow  Party
  • CC – United Independent Party

Only voters who are not affiliated with a political party, called Unenrolled (U – commonly known as No Party or “Independent”) and voters in Political Designations may choose any one of the four party ballots when voting in Primary Elections.

The deadline to make any changes to voter registration effective for the March 1 election, such as new voter registration, change of party or home address was Feb. 10.


The Town Clerk and Board of Registrars of Voters look forward to very high voter participation. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters are encouraged to check their voter registration status and voting precinct before they go to vote by visiting the Town Clerk’s webpage.

Voters who have not returned a census in 2015 or 2016 are classified as “inactive” voters, a status that requires the voter to present identification in order to return to the active voting rolls.  Think about carrying your ID when you go to vote to make the process simpler on election day.


Voters who will not be in Belmont during voting hours; have a physical disability preventing the voter from going to the polling place; or due to religious belief are unable to vote on election day qualify for absentee ballots. 

In-office absentee voting is underway at the Town Clerk’s office daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., through noon on Monday, Feb. 29.  Applications and requests to mail an absentee ballot must contain the signature of the voter or an immediate family member and must arrive at the Town Clerk’s office by Noon on Feb. 29.


Belmont Police will designate some voter parking at each of the polling locations however with a very busy election, parking close to the polling locations is often a challenge. Plan ahead: consider walking, carpooling with a friend or voting “off peak” during the middle of the day.  Only voters who arrive at the precinct and are in line for the Voter Check-In before the close of polls at 8 p.m. can be permitted to vote; those who arrive too late will miss out.  


  • Precinct One: Belmont Memorial Library, Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct Two: Belmont Town Hall, Selectmen’s Room, 455 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct Three: Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. 
  • Precinct Four: Daniel Butler School Gym, 90 White St.
  • Precinct Five: Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct Six: Belmont Fire Headquarters, 299 Trapelo Rd.
  • Precinct Seven: Burbank School Gym, 266 School St.
  • Precinct Eight: Winn Brook School Gym, 97 Waterhouse Rd., Enter From Cross Street.

Don’t know your voting precinct?  Visit the Town Clerk’s website for a list of Belmont precinct assignments by street:

  1. Select Town Departments,
  2. Select Town Clerk, 
  3. then select Elections: Information for Residents  and scroll down the page.

Or go directly here.

If you would like further clarification of your party, voting  status, voting precinct or have any other questions related to the upcoming election, please call the Belmont Town Clerk’s Office at 617-993-2600 or email:

Independent? Maybe Not! Know Before You Vote March 1 in Presidential Primary

Photo: Voting in Belmont.

Belmont voters will cast their first ballot in 2016 Election Cycle on Tuesday, March 1 in the Presidential Primary Election. But just because you’re a registered voter doesn’t mean you can take any ballot that’s available.

Ellen Cushman, Belmont’s Town Clerk, reminds residents the deadline to register to vote in the Presidential Primary is Wednesday, Feb. 10. The Town Clerk’s office is open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. on Feb. 10  for walk-in voter registration.

Because March 1 is a primary election, a voter who is a member of one of the four Massachusetts political parties – Democratic, Republican, Green-Rainbow and United Independent Party – can only vote with that party’s ballot. A Democrat cannot take a Republican ballot, and a Republican cannot take a Democratic one.

Feb. 10 is also the deadline for registered voters who wish to change their party enrollment either to another party or to “unenrolled,” which is commonly referred to as “independent.”  This should not be confused with the United Independent Party (UIP); a party that will have ballots available but with no candidates printed on them. 

While “unenrolled” voters or voters enrolled in political designations – let’s say the Pirate or Pizza parties – can ask for any party ballot on Primary Day, voters registered in UIP will NOT be eligible to take a Democratic, Republican or Green-Rainbow ballot. 

And it’s likely some Belmont residents may have inadvertently joined UIP as nearly 50 voters are registered as members of this fairly obscure outfit. 

“With spirited contests in both parties, pervasive advertising and intense coverage in early primary states, some voters may want to vote for a candidate in a different party from the one they are registered in now,” said Cushman.

Residents who are United States citizens, reside in Massachusetts, and who will be at least 18 years old on or before March 1 are eligible to register to vote. Those meeting these qualifications who have a Massachusetts Driver’s License can submit their registration online. Those registering by mail should have their form hand-canceled by the Post Office to ensure it is postmarked before the deadline.

To find information about your current voter registration, visit the Massachusetts Secretary of State office or visit the Town Clerk’s web page, (and select Town Clerk/Elections: Register) to vote or check your voter status.