Town clerk urges voters to be kind and patient
SOUTHWICK – Southwick voters cast just under 4,000 ballots ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
The town has roughly 7,300 registered voters.
Town Clerk Michelle Hill said she mailed out over 2,100 ballots and nearly all had been returned by Monday morning.
“We had 1,888 early in-person voters,” Hill said. “We’re hitting almost 50 percent of voters before Election Day.”
Hill said she was thrilled at the turnout because she always wants 100 percent of voters to participate, however, she said she doesn’t usually get this close to 100.
“Four years ago we had 76 percent voter turnout and I believe we will have between 85-95percent this year,” said Hill.
Hill chalks up the numbers to the heated presidential race and the option to mail in votes.
“Our absentee ballots remain at just under 150, but the mail-in voting skyrocketed,” she said. “It turned my world upside down.”
Hill and her staff run three departments with Hill serving as the town clerk, treasurer and collector. Even before the election, Hill said demand for service from her office escalated.
Hill said Monday morning that the phone was ringing non-stop with questions from voters. Hill warned those who have not voted in a while – even those who made sure they were registered this year – that they would likely be on the “inactive voter” list.
Southwick voters will be held to the 150-foot rule tomorrow, said Hill.
“Do not come with 150-feet of the polling area wearing any apparel support a candidate,” Hill warned. “You will be turned around to correct it.”
Hill said hats, shirts, buttons and any items supporting a candidate are cause to be turned away.
“And you cannot come in with signs all over your vehicle,” she added, “you will have to park further away. I am taking the 150-foot rule extremely seriously.”
Hill said her number one tip for Election Day voters is to “be kind,” followed closely by “be patient.”
Southwick voters cast their ballots at Town Hall, 454 College Highway, from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.