Nashoba Publishing/Emily Royalty
Pepperell resident Jeanne Nevard came out to the polls at Varnum Brook Elementary School with her dog Mackenzie to support Barack Obama on Nov. 6.
Local residents rally for their desired candidates on election day outside of the Varnum Brook Elementary School on Nov. 6.
Townsend residents Max MacPhee (left) and Ken Miller stand side by side but in opposition, rallying for their desired candidates on Nov. 6 outside of the polls at North Middlesex Regional High School.
By Emily Royalty
President Barack Obama may have regained his position in the White House following the nationwide election on Nov. 6, but his opponent Mitt Romney narrowly stepped ahead in tally in Townsend and Pepperell. By the time the election polls closed at 8 p.m. on Nov. 6 in Pepperell and Townsend, both presidential candidates boasted close numbers. In Pepperell, Romney received 3,426 votes to Obama's 2,936. In Townsend, ballots were caste for 2,725 Romney and 2,087 for Obama.
The Townsend and Pepperell elections for senator was more of a landslide. Despite Elizabeth Warren receiving the seat, her opponent Scott Brown received a wide majority vote in both towns. In Pepperell, he received 4,074 votes and in Townsend, 3,188; Warren respectively received 2,417 and 1,737. For the congressional representative, Niki Tsongas won both towns. The final tallies are pending the count of provisional ballots.
Regardless of the way residents caste their ballots, a call for progress amongst voters was loud and unanimous. On which candidates would best deliver, however, the vote was divisive; partisan supporters came out from both sides to express their desires and concerns.
Herbert F. Woods of Pepperell said he would be voting for Romney and running mate Paul Ryan and for Warren for Senate, summing up his hope for the country and its economy in a single sentence.
"I just hope it gets better," he said.
April Campbell of Pepperell checked off Obama's name on her ballot; still, she said, she hoped for the parties to find a way to unite rather than stand divided.
"I wish they would talk about what they'll do and not about what the other people aren't doing," said Campbell, who moved to town in August. "Mostly I'm hopeful that we'll get back to seeing everyone try to work together and not against each other."
Although Pepperell resident Stan Kopek voted Republican across the board, he echoed Campbell's desire for bipartisanship. It was this desire for an independent voice, he said, that led him to vote for Brown for Senate.
"He's a more thoughtful opponent. He listens to both sides, where his opponent is more of a cheerleader," he said. As for his choice of Romney for president, Kopek said it boiled down to the country's spending and national debt.
"We're losing stature across the globe. The borrowing is out of control and we need to get it under control. If we're not going to do it now, when are we going to do it?" he asked.
Obama supporter Jeanne Nevard, who came out with her dog Mackenzie, disagreed that Romney would be the best candidate to raise the country's international esteem.
"Barack Obama has a lot of credibility with the world-wide community, the world does not respect Romney," she said. Regardless of the outcome, she said, she hoped whoever was voted into office would follow through on his campaign promises.
"I hope with the rhetoric during the debates, it actually fuels them into action to do what they say they're going to do," she said.
Not too far away, Townsend had similarly strong representation for both parties at their polls at the North Middlesex Regional High School. Resident Joanne Mullen said she was ready to see new leadership in the White House.
"It's time for a change. Obama has had enough time," she said.
Other residents in support of Obama, such as Bob Wallace, said Republican voters were forgetting the position that Obama had been left with when he first entered office.
"Thanks to the Bush administration, Obama inherited a lot of problems," he said. "It's taken a while but it can't be done over night. The guy's trying," he said. "Rome wasn't built in a day but it was destroyed overnight, and that's what'll happen if Romney is voted into office."
David Dufault said regardless of the outcome, he was looking forward to the campaigning being over, a sentiment that many voters agreed with.
"It'll be nice to finally have it over. It was probably one of the most uncivil, negative (campaigns) I've followed," he said.
Still, by the end of Nov. 6, the ends had met the means, as more than 10,000 Townsend and Pepperell residents combined had their voices heard, one way or the other.
"I'm glad to see people are taking their civic rights so seriously," said Martha McCaffrey. "It's nice to see people of all ages taking it seriously."