PEPPERELL — After a busy start to the morning, Pepperell poll workers saw a steady stream of voters on Nov. 4.
So many people showed up first thing in the morning that there was a line for the voting booths serving precinct one, said Warden Lee Ann Phoenix.
Many of the voters who come to the school were usually inactive voters, Phoenix said.
At 12:45, 1,666 voters had already cast their ballots at Varnum Brook Elementary School. Another 241 voters submitted absentee ballots.
Lunchtime voters were relaxed, talking with each other and poll workers.
Many stopped at the front table, unsure of what precinct they belonged to. Police Sergeant William Greathead was happy to look it up and steer them to the correct check-in table.
The atmosphere much calmer than during the September election, when voters turned out to make their voices heard about an override.
The override was defeated.
Vocal voters gathered outside the building. Signs lined the entrance road to the school.
This election, the only local race was for state representative of the First Middlesex District. Democrat Gene Rauhala of Townsend challenged Republican incumbent Sheila Harrington of Groton.
A proposed natural gas pipeline has been a hot-button issue in this town on the New Hampshire border. Neither candidate supports the pipeline.
“I think we’ll be in good hands with either one,” said Jean Nevard, a conservationist and contributor to Nashoba Publishing,
Outside the building, a handful of Republic supporters gathered under a tent enjoying sandwiches donated by C & S Pizza.
Earlier in the morning, Harrington stopped by and gave the volunteers coffee and doughnuts.
“Sheila’s a treasure,” said Tom Osten.
The group enjoyed offering the Republican coffee and doughnuts to voters braving the chilly temperatures.
Pat Osten, the former chairman of the Republican Committee, had some more serious words to say.
With so many running in the race for governor, the winner might not have a majority of the votes.
Instead, the winner could be elected by a plurality because of votes that go to candidates who are not in a major party.
Tom Osten shared a Republican chair with the lone woman holding a Rauhala sign earlier in the morning.
Ginny Rauhala Spinney, Gene’s sister, remained for part of the morning but left before lunch.