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Concord election wrap-up: Voter turn-out tops 75 percent; voting machine troubles in one ward

Ward 4 voters line up to vote at St. Peter's Parish Hall in Concord; Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

Ward 4 voters line up to vote at St. Peter's Parish Hall in Concord; Tuesday, November 6, 2012. (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

Nearly 4,000 people registered to vote at the polls in Concord on Tuesday, helping drive voter turnout in the city above 75 percent.

By the end of the day, 21,933 people voted, 75.3 percent of registered voters, including the 3,959 who registered at the polls, according to Concord City Clerk Janice Bonenfant.

Turnout in 2008 was 76.3 percent of registered voters, Bonenfant said.

Ward 3, by far the last to report results on voting night, experienced problems with a voting machine late in the day due to the high number of ballots being counted, she said.

The city brought a new machine to the ward, which was voting at Beaver Meadow Country Club, and re-fed all the ballots from the old machine into the new one.

“I wasn’t there, but sometimes the high volume of ballots can lead to sticking. It was taking more time than ideally it should have,” Bonenfant said.

“We probably didn’t need to do it, but it was to err on the side of caution,” she said.

With 79.6 percent of Ward 3 voters casting ballots, it had the third highest voter participation rate in the city. Ward 10, with 81.6 percent, and Ward 7 with 79.9 percent, had the highest rates.

The only complaint the moderators reported to her at the end of the day was voters looking for a way to announce they had performed their civic duty.

“The biggest complaint we had, and you can check this with any of our moderators, was a lack of sufficient ‘I voted’ stickers,” Bonenfant said. “We had lots of stickers, but we had an election in January and we had an election in September, and we just ran out.”

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

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