Published in the November 2, 2016 edition


LYNNFIELD — America’s long national nightmare will be coming to a close on Nov. 8, when voters cast ballots in the Presidential Election.

Local residents from all four precincts will be casting ballots at Lynnfield High School from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. According to Town Clerk Trudy Reid, there are 9,326 voters eligible to vote in the Presidential Election.

Reid is anticipating a high turnout on election day.

“We will have a high turnout,” said Reid. “In 2012, there was an 85 percent turnout in the Presidential Election. I think we will match that or do better.”

Reid said just over 1,000 voters cast ballots during the first week of early voting. Early voting began on Oct. 24 and will conclude on Friday, Nov. 4. In Lynnfield, early voting can be done in person at Town Hall during normal business hours on Wednesday, Nov. 2 and Thursday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 4, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The deadline to apply for an early voting ballot is Friday, Nov. 4 at 12 p.m.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Monday, Nov. 7 at noon.

The election will be headlined by a four-way race for president and a four-way race for Essex County Sheriff. There are also four questions appearing on the ballot.

Presidential race

The race for president features Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

While Clinton is leading Trump in both state and nationwide polls, both candidates are historically unpopular. According to a poll released last week by Lynnfield resident and Suffolk University Political Research Director David Paleologos, 50 percent of those polled said they would be enthusiastic or satisfied if Clinton wins the election, while 45 percent would be dissatisfied or scared. On the flip side, 38 percent said they would be enthusiastic or satisfied with a Trump win, while 56 percent said they would be dissatisfied or scared.

“Both candidates have struggled with perceptions of honesty and trustworthiness through the polling season,” said Paleologos in a press release. “Even now, one in six likely voters say they have an unfavorable opinion of both Trump and Clinton.”

When asked if she believes there will be an increase in write-in votes due to Trump and Clinton being viewed unfavorably, Reid urged residents not to write in anyone’s name.

“I hope people will not write in their mother’s name or vote for Mickey Mouse because it causes extra work for election workers at the end of the night,” said Reid. “If residents are unhappy with the four candidates and can’t vote for one of them, they should leave it blank. That will send a bigger message than writing someone’s name in.”

Essex County Sheriff

There are four candidates running for Essex County sheriff. The candidates are looking to succeed Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins, who announced earlier this year he would not run for re-election.

Peabody Councilor-At-Large Anne Manning-Martin is the Republican nominee for Essex County sheriff. She has 25 years of experience working in corrections. She is currently serving as the deputy superintendent at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital Correctional Unit, where she manages the daily operation of the medium security correctional hospital. Previously, she was the Boston Pre-Release Center’s deputy superintendent.

Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger is the Democratic nominee for Essex County sheriff. Coppinger, who worked as a Lynnfield patrolman from 1983-1985, has served as Lynn’s police chief since 2009 and was the deputy chief of operations from 2000-2009. He was Lynn’s deputy chief of administration from 1995-2000.

There are two independent candidates running for sheriff as well, including Bedford resident Mark Archer.

According to Archer’s website, the candidate is currently a practicing attorney and is a former Massachusetts State Trooper. He worked in law enforcement for three decades and this is the first time he has run for public office.

“I intend to bring my education and practical experience in the fields of criminal justice and law, as well as compassion, understanding and an open mind to the office of sheriff in Essex County,” said Archer in a statement posted on his website. “I am very optimistic about this opportunity to serve the residents of Essex County as sheriff. I intend to work closely with the employees of the sheriff’s office to set a positive tone, boost and maintain morale and establish a high level of trust.”

Kevin Leach of Manchester-By-The-Sea is the second independent candidate running for Essex County sheriff. According to an article in The Beverly Citizen, Leach previously ran as an independent sheriff candidate in the 1990’s and in 2010. He previously worked as a police officer and as a deputy sheriff for Essex County. Before retiring, he worked as a commissioned U.S. law enforcement ranger.

Additionally, Leach previously served on the Essex County Charter Commission, where he served as a grand jury foreman for two terms. He served as a trustee for the Essex County Agricultural and Technical Institute School, now known as Essex Tech and served as the county commissioner.

Ballot questions

Townspeople will be voting on four ballot questions as well. Reid said the ballot questions will help increase voter turnout.

“There are people who feel very strongly about the ballot questions, particularly the ballot questions related to charter schools and recreational marijuana,” said Reid.

Question 1 would allow the state Gaming Commission to issue one additional category 2 license, which would permit the operation of a gaming establishment with no table games and no more than 1,250 slot machines. A yes vote would permit the state Gaming Commission to license one additional slot-machine gaming establishment at a location that meets certain conditions specified in the law. A no vote would make no changes in current laws regarding gaming.

Question 2 would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year. A yes vote would allow up to 12 approvals each year of either new charter schools or expanded enrollments in existing charter schools, but not to exceed 1 percent of the statewide public school enrollment. A no vote would make no changes in current charter school laws.

Question 3 would prohibit any farm owner or operator from knowingly confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs or turning around freely. A yes vote would prohibit any confinement of pigs, calves and hens that prevents them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs or turning around freely. A no vote would make no changes in current laws relative to the keeping of farm animals.

Question 4 would permit the possession, use, distribution and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts by people ages 21 and older and would remove criminal penalties for such activities. It would provide for the regulation of commerce in marijuana, marijuana accessories and marijuana products and for the taxation of proceeds from marijuana sales.

A yes vote would allow people 21 and older to possess, use and transfer marijuana and products containing marijuana concentrate (including edible products) and to cultivate marijuana, all in limited amounts and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commercial sale of marijuana and marijuana products. A no vote would make no changes to current marijuana laws.

Additional candidates

In addition to the two contested races and four ballot questions, there are four candidates running unopposed for elected office.

Congressman Seth Moulton is running for a second term. Terrence Kennedy, 3 Stafford Rd., is running for Sixth District Councilor once again.

State Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading) is running to represent the 20th Middlesex District in the General Court. State Senator Tom McGee (D-Lynn) is running to represent the Third Essex District in the state senate.