Uncontested races draw few voters in Grafton election

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GRAFTON – Brook A. Padgett will stay on the Board of Selectmen, winning a majority in Tuesday’s town election of 696 votes to 353 write-in and blank ballots.

Robert R. Nault, chairman of the Capital Improvement Planning Committee and vice chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, launched a write-in campaign last week for the selectman’s seat held by Mr. Padgett, but did not overtake the incumbent. He received 318 votes.

Only one name, Laura I. Often, was on the ballot for School Committee, which had two open seats. Ms. Often received 777 votes to win a three-year term.

School Committee member Peter R. Carlson, who is finishing his second term, was re-elected with 119 write-in votes.

Mr. Carlson had planned to file papers for re-election but he had surgery the day after the filing deadline and missed it. He announced a write-in campaign for re-election on Facebook on April 1.

Maggie McDonald also launched a last-minute write-in campaign for School Committee. She received 42 votes.

A total 1,046 ballots were cast out of approximately 11,000 registered voters, for a turnout rate of roughly 9.5 percent

 

Grafton – Selectman chair Brook Padgett easily beat Robert Nault, a last minute write-in candidate for the one open selectman seat. In unofficial numbers from the Town Clerk, Padgett received 696 votes versus 318 write-in votes for Nault.

It was a very low turnout in an election that, judging by the ballot, produced no races and very little enthusiasm. Only 1,049 votes were dropped in the ballot box to decide the outcome.

School Committee member Peter Carlson also won thanks to the write-in support, picking up 119 votes. He was also up for re-election but did not return his nomination papers by deadline to appear on the ballot. However, out of the 175 write-in ballots he got the majority. Maggie McDonald picked up 42 write-in votes.

When asked how he felt after learning of the victory he said, “Great. I am humbled by the support. Time to get back to work.”

Laura Ort Often won a three-year term as school committee member, picking up 777 votes. She ran unopposed, as did all other candidates on the ballot.

Planning Board member Robert Hassinger won re-election with 639 votes while Michael Scully picked up 696 votes to secure his seat.

Marilyn Cusher, running for a one-year term as Library Trustee, also did not return her nomination papers in time. However, out of 102 write-in votes, she received 21, enough to win.

Lisa Kelley, who ran unopposed for a five year seat on the Housing Authority, picked up 797 votes.

Here are the unofficial results compiled from the Town Clerk.

Selectman (for three years):

Brook Padgett — 696

Robert Nault — 318

School Committee (for three years):

Laura Often — 777

Peter Carlson — 119

Maggie McDonald — 42

Planning Board (for three years):

Robert Hassinger — 639

Michael Scully — 696

Board of Library Trustees (for three years):

Douglas Bowman — 682

Carrie Hogan — 678

Diane Libbey — 703

Library Trustee (for one year):

Marilyn Cusher — 21

Housing Authority (for five years):

Lisa Kelley — 797