Weston finishes vote, tally in the dark; no glitches elsewhere

Kim Seymour, Dave Trask and

Kim Seymour, Dave Trask and Darrell Hart cope with the power failure. Weston and Londonderry photos by Bruce Frauman. All others by Shawn Cunningham

By Bruce Frauman
©2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

As if everything about this remarkable election were not enough, just after 5 p.m. on Election Day, the lights went out in Weston.

With voting set to continue for nearly two more hours the Town Hall polling place was plunged into darkness.

Luckily, that’s just about the time that Weston Volunteer Fire Department Lt. Ryan Hart happened in to vote.

Hart had the “brilliant bright idea” to park the town’s class A pumper in front of the Town Office and use its 20 kilowatt generator to light the building’s exterior while running heavy duty yellow extension cords inside to light the voting booths and powering computers.

“I came to vote and just figured I’d come down and bring some lights,” Hart told The Telegraph.

Voting continued, then Weston Town Clerk Kim Seymour and her team of 11 volunteers began counting ballots by lanterns and flashlights. Hart ran power to the clerk’s modem and computer so she could report results to the Secretary of State’s office.

According Dorothy Schnure of Green Mountain Power, a large tree came down on wires around 5:07 p.m. affecting 601 customers in Weston. More than 100 customers were also affected in Andover, but not its Town Office, according to Town Clerk Jeanette Haight.  GMP workers brought the power back up at 10:26 p.m.

Poll watcher Deb Moser estimated the voter turnout to be 85 percent to 90 percent with 120 of the town’s 500 plus voters casting early ballots.

While Seymour struggled with power, other clerks around the area reported busy but otherwise smooth polling. In Grafton and Windham, the contentious issue of industrial wind could have caused disruptions at the polls, but as those measures went down to defeat, Grafton Town Clerk Kim Record and Windham clerk Jo-Jo Chlebogiannis said it was a smooth day.

Click here for area results.

Running unopposed for State representatives, Tom Bock took 1,860 votes in Chester, Andover, Baltimore and North Springfield.

Oliver Olsen garnered 2,244 votes in the Windham-Bennington-Windsor and, in Windham-3, Carolyn Partridge and Matthew Trieber were elected with 2,423 and 2,234 votes respectively.

— Cynthia Prairie and Shawn Cunningham contributed to this article.

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