In an election cycle where many believed that voter turnout would be highly important, 13,325 voters or 67.2% of the total number of eligible voters in Reading cast ballots in the Tuesday, November 6 state election. This is greater than the 60.3% that voted in the 2014 mid-term election. On Monday, Town Clerk Laura Gemme had predicted between fifty and sixty percent turnout based on the numbers of early votes cast, as well as historic turnout results during mid-term elections. Gemme also reported that Reading now has three stand-by voting machines to protect against any breakdowns. No issues at Reading’s polling place were reported.
Incumbent Charlie Baker won the Reading vote for governor with 9,639 votes while Reading voters chose Elizabeth Warren to continue as U.S. Senator with 7,334 votes. Reading awarded Seth Moulton with 8,522 votes in the race for the 6th Congressional district.
Fifth Middlesex District State Senator Jason Lewis received 7,138 votes from Reading, with Reading resident Erin Calvo-Bacci receiving 5,466 votes. Reading residents in the 20th Middlesex District gave Brad Jones 4,580 votes to continue to represent them, while Reading’s choice in the 30th Middlesex District was Richard Haggerty with 4,115 votes. Eight Thousand ninety-seven Reading voters chose to retain Attorney General Maura Healey in her office. Secretary of State William Galvin was Reading’s choice for re-election with 8,954 votes.
Ballot question one asked voters to set nurse to patient ratios in hospitals. With 10,488 votes, Reading responded with an overwhelming “No.” Question two asked if a citizen’s commission to suggest an amendment to U.S. Constitution that would limit the influence of money in elections and establish that corporations do not have the same rights as human beings should be established. Reading voted “Yes” on the question with 8,995 votes. Question three asked voters if certain protections under the law should remain for transgendered persons. Reading voted “Yes” with a vote of 9,152 to 3,945.
Over 3,900 Reading residents took advantage of early voting this year. In addition, 700 absentee ballots also were cast. Town Clerk Laura Gemme reported that early voting was very steady with Friday, November 2 as the busiest day of early voting. Gemme has been town clerk for nine years and this was the twenty-ninth election she has overseen in Reading during that time.