Belmont Voters Back Clinton; Reject Charter Schools, Yes on Legally Lighting Up

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.


“The Dude” Lebowski, from the movie “The Big Lebowski” has become a symbol of recreational pot smoking in society.

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.

Belmont Schools, Public Library, Senior Center Closed for Election

Photo: A line of voters at the Burbank Elementary School.                                                        

With safety in mind, the Belmont School District has closed the district’s six schools for the Presidential Election today, Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Speaking in September, School Superintendent John Phelan said the decision to shut down school for the day was a precautionary measure due to the combination of three schools – Winn Brook, Butler and Burbank elementary – hosting polling places and an anticipated high voter turnout for Presidential elections – Town Clerk Ellen Cushman is predicting upwards of 80 to 85 percent voter participation.

With limited visitors parking at the three schools and upwards of a thousand voters attempting to cast ballots during the day, it was decided to side on safety.

The number of voters anticipated and the need for parking resulted in the Belmont Public Library on Concord Avenue and the Senior Center at the Beech Street Center being closed today, Tuesday. 

Belmont Votes Today: 2016 Presidential Election

Photo: Voters casting ballots in Belmont.

Belmont votes for president today, Tuesday, Nov. 8 as part of the 2016 Presidential Election.

POLLS ARE OPEN FROM 7 A.M. TO 8 P.M. Those in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to cast their ballot.

A sample ballot can be viewed here.

Voters are encouraged to check their voter registration status and voting precinct before they go to vote by visiting the Town Clerk’s web page.

Voters who have not returned a town census in 2015 or 2016 are classified as “inactive” voters, a status that requires the voter to present identification to return to the active voting rolls. Bring an ID such as a driver’s license when you go to vote to make the process simpler on election day.


  • Precinct One: Belmont Public 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.


Belmont Police will designate some voter parking at each of the polling locations however with a very busy election, parking close to the voting sites is often a challenge. Plan ahead: consider walking, carpooling with a friend or voting “off peak” during the middle of the day. 

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:

League of Women Voters Will Drive You To The Polls Tuesday

Photo: League’s logo

The Belmont League of Women Voters will once again provide rides to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8 so residents can vote in the Presidential and state elections as well as four ballot questions.

Rides will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to any of the eight precinct polling stations in town. To arrange a trip, either call the league at 617-771–8500 or e-mail:

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Belmont Town Clerk Announces Early Presidential Voting Dates, Hours


Photo: Town Clerk Ellen Cushman registering Belmont High School students allowing them to vote in the 2016 Presidential Election. 

Recent changes to the Massachusetts General Laws gives all registered voters the opportunity to cast a ballot for the Presidential and State Election before the Nov. 8 Election Day, according to a statement from Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman. 

The new law permits voters to cast ballots during the designated period of Early Voting from Oct. 24 and Nov. 4. Those times includes Saturday, Oct. 29 and night hours until 8 p.m.

“In Belmont, we are excited to offer this opportunity to our registered voters, an expanded, accessible schedule of hours at one central location, Belmont Town Hall, for this ‘no excuse’ vote-ahead option,”
said Cushman. 

Unlike absentee voting that is available in every election only to those voters who will be absent from Belmont, or have a physical disability preventing the voter from going to the polls or with a religious belief preventing the voter from going to the polls on Election Day, Early Voting is available to anyone.

No advance application is necessary to vote in person; voters can decide the date and time to cast their ballot in person at Town Hall during the Early Voting hours. Once the voter has cast an Early Voting Ballot, that voter may not vote at the polls on Election Day or receive an absentee ballot. 

Only residents who were registered to vote by Oct. 19, are eligible to vote in this year’s Presidential State Election. To find out whether and where you are already registered, and where to vote or to inquire about absentee voting, visit

Visit the Belmont Town Clerk’s pages on the Town of Belmont website to explore elections information.

Early Voting for Belmont Voters will be available ONLY at Town Hall, 455 Concord Ave., and only on the following schedule of dates and hours: 

  • Monday, Oct. 24; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 27; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 28; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 29; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 30; No Early Voting Hours
  • Monday, Oct. 31; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 2 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 3; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 4; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Pick the most convenient date and time for you and give Early Voting a try. It’s always advisable to have your ID with you when you go to vote either on election day or for Early Voting,” said Cushman.

“Written, signed absentee applications and Early Voting applications that request us to mail you a ballot are also available, online or at the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall.  If you have questions or need additional information, email the Town Clerk’s office at or phone us at 617-993-2600,” she said.

“We’re here to help,” said Cushman.


Town Seeking Election Workers to Help During ‘Busy’ 2016


It will be a busy 2016 for voters in Belmont with four planned elections. And the Belmont Board of Registrars and Town Clerk are committed to administering fair, open and efficient elections. 

To do this the Town Clerk’s office rely on the dedicated services of the more than 100 election workers and we’re always looking for more top-notch Belmont voters to join this group. Election workers play a vital role in the democratic process. To properly staff polling locations, we need to add to our pool of election workers for the upcoming 2016 elections:

  • Tuesday, March 1: Presidential Primary Election
  • Tuesday, April 5Annual Town Election
  • Thursday, Sept. 8State Primary Election
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8: Presidential General Election.

Applicants must be registered to vote in Belmont. Training is provided before each election. You’ll learn how elections actually work while earning $10 an hour. 

There are typically two shifts on Election Day:  6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. to approximately 9 p.m.  Workers are not required to work every election; you let the Clerk’s office know which dates and shifts you are available.

“It’s a great way to meet new  people, and learn about elections from the inside,” said Town Clerk Ellen Cushman.

Interested? Visit the election workers page on the Town Clerk’s site or email to

Guess Which Former Belmont Resident is Thinking of Running for President … Again

Third times the charm.

At least, that’s what Mitt Romney is hoping.

The former Belmont homeowner who lived with his wife, Anne, and five sons for five decades on Winn Street, Marsh Street and South Cottage Road, told a group of donors on Friday, Jan. 9, that he is considering a White House bid in 2016, a move that could scramble the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In the Journal article, Romney cited turbulent events overseas and the state of the economy as two reasons why he is considering another run.

If Romney does run for a third time for president – he ran in 2008 but did not receive the Republican nomination and lost to President Obama in the 2012 general election – Belmont is unlikely to be placed in the international media spotlight as it was in the fall of 2012 as the Romney’s sold their Woodlands at Belmont Hill townhouse condominium in May for $1.2 million.