Needham Passes Alcohol Question, Votes Blue

The town followed the rest of Massachusetts in re-electing President Barack Obama and electing Elizabeth Warren as Senator and Joe Kennedy as Congressman.


Needham residents soon will be able to buy their wine right here in town.

By an overwhelming margin, local voters approved the only question on the Nov. 6 special town election ballot—whether Needham should issue licenses to businesses in town.

In the end, 12,181 Needham residents voted yes on the measure, while 4,636 residents voted no.

With approval of the ballot question, Needham has the ability to issue up to six licenses for the retail sale of beer, wine and liquor in town, with two additional wine and beer licenses available after 2018, for a total of eight.

Needham selectmen will be holding a public hearing later this month to consider regulations for alcohol sales licenses, and each license applicant will have to go through a separate public hearing to receive approval.

Voter Turnout

Needham had about 83 percent voter turnout in the Nov. 6, 2012 election, with 17,069 residents casting their ballots either at the polls or by absentee for the state election. A total of 16,863 residents also voted in the special town election, held on the same day but with a separate ballot.

The town clerk's office processed a total of 5,144 absentee ballots for the 2012 election in Needham—including both special town and state elections. That amounts to roughly 2,572 residents voting absentee this year.

By comparison, the town clerk's office processed 2,350 absentee ballots in the 2008 presidential election.

Needham did run into some technical problems on Election Day, as some of the machines jammed and voter lines backed up while workers attempted to get the machines back on line.

State Races

When it came to state races, Needham sided with the rest of Massachusetts in re-electing President Barack Obama and electing Democrats Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate and Joe Kennedy III to the Fourth Congressional District seat.

Needham cast 10,207 votes for Obama and 6,513 votes for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. 

The senate race was closer, with 8,824 votes for Warren and 8,070 for Brown.

And in the Fourth Congressional District race, Needham helped to elect Kennedy with 10,376 votes to Sean Bielat's 5,899 votes.

State Questions

As for state questions, Needham followed suit there as well, approving all three.

Question 1, known by many as the "Right to Repair" issue, was approved by the widest margin, with 12,504 Needham residents voting yes and 1,643 residents voting no.

Question 2 was much closer, with 8,573 Needham voters feeling that physicians should be able to prescribe life-ending medication and 7,595 voting against the issue.

And for Question 3, which further legalizes marijuana for medicinal purposes, Needham voted 9,865 for, 6,231 against. 

Citizens United

Needham residents also confirmed the vote made at the 2012 Annual Town Meeting regarding a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision.

Voters in precincts A-C, J and I passed one version of the nonbinding measure (Question 4) by a vote of 5,340 for, 1,399 against.

Voters in all 10 precincts also passed a town-wide version of the nonbinding measure by a vote of 10,542 for, 2,982 against.

For full precinct-by-precinct results as well as quotes from the polls and more photos from the Nov. 6 election in Needham, check out Patch's results story.

To see how Massachusetts voted on Nov. 6, see this story.

John November 07, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Needham's new slogan: "Come Get Trashed in Needham!" or, "Needham, we're just like all the other towns".


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