Photo: Nicole Howkins voted at Precinct 7.
It took several minutes for Fred Kelley to move up the ramp into Town Hall. Moving quite slowly with the aid of a walker, the 86-year-old Beatrice Circle resident was visibly struggling to make it into the building. The former Navy flyer and recruiter had to stop twice on the ramp, straining to catch his breath.
But living 63 years with diabetes and a frail body did not stop Kelley from coming to his precinct polling station to vote in person.
“I’m still around,” said Kelley, as he exited the elevator to the second floor of Town Hall. “When asked when was the first time he voted, Kelley looked up and said, “I really don’t know.”
But with the help of family. poll workers and Belmont Police Lt. Kristin Daley, the veteran was able to mark his ballot and then slip it into the recorder.
When asked why did he made this herculean effort just to register his vote, Kelley leaned forward and after taking three hesitant breaths said in a steady voice, “I want good government and I wanted true government.”
“I want government that helps, not hurt. To do good and avoid evil. I always lived my life that way and I hope to die that way.”
With the exception of a single incident where a voter at Precinct 7 got huffy when asked to remove a mask which promoted a presidential candidate, election day in Belmont was peaceful with short waits and a “I Voted” sticker waiting at the end of the process.
It was also when registered voters took extraordinary advantage of mail-in, absentee and early voting as 12,100 of the town’s 18,341 registered voters cast their ballots before Nov. 3, according to Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman.
At the close of the polls at 8 p.m., 15,038 Belmontians voted, which is 82 percent of eligible voters. In comparison, 82.4 percent voted in the last presidential election in 2016.
It surprised no one that blue Belmont gave its overwhelming support to former VP Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris for president and vice president with more than three-quarters of voters filling the oval beside their names. Incumbent President Trump saw his support in the Town of Homes fall from 21.4 percent in 2016 to 19.6 percent (3,106 votes in 2016 vs 2,920 votes).
The only vote which Belmont was an outlier to the statewide vote was on Question 2 which would allow ranked choice voting in state and local elections. The question lost statewide 54 percent to 45 percent.
Unofficial results, Nov. 3, 2020
|President/Vice President||votes||percent of vote|
|US Senate||votes||percent of vote|
|Edward Markey (D)||11,411||77.4|
|Kevin O’Connor (R)||3,240||22.0|
|US House of Rep, 5th CD||votes||percent of vote|
|Katherine Clark (D)||11,188||77.0|
|Caroline Colarusso (R)||3,330||22.9|
|Senate in the General Court||votes||percent of vote|
|Rep. in the General Court||votes||percent of vote|
|Question 1 (Right to Repair)||votes||percent of vote|
|Question 2 (Ranked-Choice Voting)||votes||percent of vote|
|Question 3 (Alternative Energy)||votes||percent of vote|