It's here! Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, and Needham Patch is devoted to bringing you the information you need about every race in town.
Below, you'll find guides to polling locations, special procedures for Needham's special election, summaries of state and local issues, a quick look at the various races and other important information you'll need to navigate Election Day. Have a question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll track down the answer and share it here to make sure all Needham residents are ready to go on Nov. 6.
And check back on Election Day for voting numbers and local results.
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is noon the day before the election, Monday, Nov. 5. Applications are available in the town clerk’s office at Needham Town Hall or online at needhamma.gov/townclerk (click on “Voter Registration and Information” at the bottom of the left column).
All absentee ballots must be received by the town clerk’s office by the time the polls close on Nov. 6 to be counted.
More information about voting absentee can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.
• Sample Ballot: Specimen ballots can be viewed as PDFs in the image gallery above.
• Poll Hours: Polls will be open on Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in all 10 precincts.
• Polling Locations: To find out where you should vote, visit wheredoivotema.org and enter your street name and number. Below is a look at the polling locations for each precinct in Needham:Precinct Polling Location Address Precinct A Hillside Elementary School (gym) 28 Glen Gary Rd. Precinct B Hillside Elementary School (gym) 28 Glen Gary Rd. Precinct C Newman Elementary School (gym) 1155 Central Ave. Precinct D Newman Elementary School (gym)
1155 Central Ave. Precinct E Pollard Middle School (Room 226) 200 Harris Ave. Precinct F Stephen Palmer Senior Center
(community room) 83 Pickering St. Precinct G Broadmeadow Elementary School
(performance center) 120 Broad Meadow Rd. Precinct H Broadmeadow Elementary School
(performance center) 120 Broad Meadow Rd. Precinct I Mitchell Elementary School (gym) 187 Brookline St. Precinct J Mitchell Elementary School (gym) 187 Brookline St.
• Early Voting: There is no early voting in Massachusetts, but there is absentee voting.
Needham's Special Election
In Needham, voters will see two ballots. The state election ballot includes races for U.S. senator and representative, state senator and representative and U.S. president as well as statewide questions. The special town election ballot features just one question: Should Needham allow the retail sale of alcohol?
After the Secretary of State’s Office said there was no room on the state ballot for the local question, selectmen voted in September to hold a special election on the same day, Nov. 6, saying that it would be the best way to ensure the most Needham voters had a say on the matter.
Specimen ballots for both elections can be viewed as PDFs in the image gallery above. Note: Residents in precincts A-C and J-I will see a different state election ballot from residents in precincts D-H.
The town clerk recently sent out a guide to the double election to help residents navigate the process:
1. Go to the check-in table. The inspector will ask for your name and address. You will receive a State Election ballot, which is two-sided.
2. Go to the next inspector at the check-in table to vote in the Special Town Election. Again, you will be asked for your name and address. You will receive a Special Town Election ballot, which is one-sided.
3. Go to the voting booth and mark your ballot (or ballots).
4. After voting, go to the check-out table. Give name and address for State Election. Go to the Special Town Election check-out and give name and address.
5. Place your ballot(s) in the black ballot box.
If Your Name Is Not on the Voting List
Residents who find on Election Day that their names are not on the voting list will be directed to the precinct warden.
If the warden finds the resident’s name on the inactive voting list and they have proof of residence in Needham (or have moved within the last six months), the person will be asked to sign the Affirmation of Current and Continuous Residence Roster and will be allowed to vote at the precinct where they were last registered as an active voter.
If the warden does not find the individual’s name on the inactive voting list and the town clerk’s office cannot locate the person’s voter registration, the person may be given a provisional ballot. This ballot will go in a folder in a sealed envelope and be returned to the town clerk’s office after the close of the elections for further review and final determination. The person will then be notified of the results.
• U.S. President—President and Democratic candidate Barack Obama will be running for a second four-year term alongside Vice President Joe Biden, while challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney along with vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will look to bring the Republicans back to the White House.
• Massachusetts U.S. Senator—After winning the seat of the late Ted Kennedy during a special election in 2010, Republican Senator Scott Brown will be back on the ballot this fall as he looks to pick up his first full six-year term. The Wrentham resident will go up against Democrat Elizabeth Warren, of Cambridge. (Special Patch coverage: Read what Republicans and Democrats across Massachusetts offered as advice for their candidates for U.S. Senate, and share your thoughts on the first Brown vs. Warren debate held Sept. 20.)
• Massachusetts U.S. Representative, Fourth Congressional District—This fall will mark the first time Needham residents vote as part of the Fourth District, as a result of the 2010 Federal Census and redistricting that followed. (Previously, the town was part of the Ninth Congressional District.) After winning their parties' nominations in the Sept. 6 primary, Republican candidate Sean Bielat will face Democratic candidate Joe Kennedy III in the final race.
• Governor’s Council, Second District—After winning their parties' nominations in the Sept. 6 primary, Democratic candidate Robert Jubinville of Milton and Republican candidate Earl Sholley of Norfolk will vie for the Second District Governor's Council seat on Nov. 6.
• Representative in General Court (State Representative), 13th Norfolk District—Democrat Denise Garlick, a Needham resident, is running unopposed for re-election.
• Senate in General Court (State Senator), Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District—With redistricting following the 2010 Federal Census, Needham is now split between two senate districts. Precincts A, B, C, I and J are part of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District, which is represented by State Senator Richard Ross, a Republican from Wrentham. Ross is running unopposed for re-election.
• Senate in General Court (State Senator), Norfolk and Suffolk District—Precincts D, E, F, G and H are now part of the Norfolk and Suffolk District and are represented by Michael Rush, a Democrat from West Roxbury who is running unopposed for re-election.
• Question 1: "An Act to Protect Motor Vehicle Owners and Small Businesses in Repairing Motor Vehicles"—This initiative would require all car manufacturers to provide—on an equitable fair-market value subscription basis —all diagnostic and repair information for model years beginning in 2015 to owners or an owner’s designated in-state independent repair facility (not affiliated with a manufacturer or its authorized dealers). The law would also make available for purchase information for model years 2002 through 2014.
Question 2: "An Act Relative to Death with Dignity"—This initiative would allow physicians to prescribe medication to terminally ill patients that would end their lives. The act would require that patients are mentally capable of making this decision and orally communicating it to a doctor on two occasions 15 days apart. Participation by a doctor or health care facility would be voluntary.
Question 3: "A Law for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana"—This initiative seeks to legalize the use and cultivation of marijuana as a medical drug. It calls for no penalties for "qualifying patients, physicians and health care professionals, personal caregivers for patients, or medical marijuana treatment center agents for the medical use of marijuana." (Needham health officials recently weighed in on this issue, as did Gov. Deval Patrick in a live chat on Needham Patch.)
• Retail Sale of Alcohol—Needham residents will see a second ballot on Nov. 6, after selectmen voted Sept. 18 to hold a special election along with the state election. The ballot will include the following local question: "Shall the licensing authority in the town of Needham be authorized to grant licenses for both the sale of all alcoholic beverages in packages not to be drunk on the premises and the sale of wine and malt beverages in packages not to be drunk on the premises?" If the question passes, the town would be allowed to issue up to six licenses for retail sale of beer, wine and liquor through 2018. After that, the town could issue up to eight licenses, with the final two limited to wine and malt beverages.
• "Democracy Amendment"—Needham is one of several communities across Massachusetts that will be voting Nov. 6 on a non-binding question commonly referred to as the “Democracy Amendment." The question relates to a Citizens United resolution passed by Needham Town Meeting last spring. The question reads as follows:
Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution affirming that
(1) corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and
(2) both Congress and the States may place limits on political contributions and political spending?
Learn more at http://democracyamendmentmass.org/.
Note: Because the threshold for getting a question on the ballot for a senate district is higher than getting a question on the ballot for a legislative district, and the efforts to collect signatures by the deadline were divided, Needham residents in each of the town’s two districts will see different questions. Voters in precincts A-C, I and J will see a question instructing both the senator and the representative to support an amendment (Questions 4 and 5), while voters in precincts D-H will only see a question instructing the representative to do so (Question 5).
• Nonbinding question—Needham voters in precincts D-H will see a second nonbinding question on the Nov. 6 ballot—one that lays out a list of directives for Congress and the president. Question 4 asks:
Shall the state senator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to: (1) prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits, or to housing, food and unemployment assistance; (2) create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, housing, renewable energy, transportation and other public services; (3) provide new revenues for these purposes and to reduce the long-term federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, ending offshore tax havens, and raising taxes on incomes over $250,000; and 94) redirect military spending to these domestic needs by reducing the military budget, ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home safely now?