Election worker

ELECTION WORKER Barbara Johnson sports one of the best masks as she directs voters at Ward 7.

Photo by joebrownphotos.com

WOBURN - The city of Woburn on Election Day November 3rd received a strong outpouring of voters but the figure is not unusual, according to City Clerk William Campbell.

The Woburn voter, he points out, is a concerned voter with a duty to perform and had a little bit longer time frame with the mail-in voting, early voting, absentee voting and election-day voting.

“It was not unusual on Tuesday,” reports City Clerk William Campbell, who is aware of the personal concern of voters to vote in an election.

The ballot casting for the Presidential Election came in at 80.7%, according to Campbell.

While other town clerks and city clerks can lament over much lower percentage figures, Woburn has always been regarded as a high percentage community.

“Woburn is always at a ‘norm’ in the 75-80% turnout rate,” beams Campbell, noting the city’s strong voting and community history at election time.

And, would the stretched-out process of 2020 be welcomed again?

“It’s up to the legislature,” reflects Campbell who does realize the administrative effort is much greater than in past decades. “In all, there should be some kind of deadlines,” felt Campbell after living through a multi-voting type of system.

As an example, voters using drop-off boxes at City Hall could be seen even 15 minutes before the voting stopped to drop off their mail-in ballots. In turn, the ballots caused a last minute surge and extra effort for the staff and election officials.

“We found out shorty after 7 :45 p.m. we were rushing out behind City Hall to gather these ballots,” remarked Campbell.

The Election Day stress is not unexpected on Election Day for Campbell and poll workers and Campbell will admit to “getting to bed at 2:30 a.m.” And, as many voters soon realized, just checking TV can be another area of stress on Election Day!

The 2020 election process was an expensive one for Woburn, however, as Campbell pointed out the city was fortunate to have a grant of $19,500 awarded to it.

The Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life was charitable enough to provide the $19,500 to Woburn to help defray election costs and increase polling and government efficiency.

The grant became handy, felt Campbell, especially addressing some of the problem areas accompanying the COVID epidemic.

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