November 9, 2016
PHOTO BY MARK LORENZ
Rachel Atcheson, a supporter of Question 3, works the polls outside of the Old Town House in Marblehead on Tuesday.
By LEAH DEARBORN AND THOR JOURGENSEN
LYNN—Local voters helped defeat an initiative to raise the cap on charter schools in the state, one of four ballot questions on Tuesday’s state ballot, striking the proposal down 19,424-12,071 votes in Lynn.
Supporters and opponents of the four ballot questions made their views known as polls opened Tuesday.
Charter school expansion proponents and protesters showed up in force in Swampscott before 8 a.m. as Gov. Baker voted at First Church Congregational. Baker voted “yes” on 2 and mingled with charter opponents and proponents, including charter supporter Ruby Sosa, who attended KIPP Academy in Lynn.
Question 2 opponents opposed to the ballot initiative to lift the state’s cap on charter schools argued that charters are a drain on funding from traditional public education, while proponents favored authorizing up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools annually by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Lynn voters supported Question 4, which calls for the legalization of recreational marijuana, by a 17,279-15,239 margin. But the vote on the question was split in other communities in the region. In Peabody, voters were 14,973-12,770 against marijuana legalization.
David and Andrea Hathaway were fired up about Question 2 with both voting no.
“As a public school teacher in Peabody, I’ve seen kids from charter schools come back,” Andrea Hathaway said. “We take everyone and charter schools don’t.”
In Marblehead, Question 3 animal rights supporters stated their case.
“This is an important issue to me,” said Rachel Atcheson of the Humane League who said she tours schools to raise awareness about factory farming. She stood outside of the Old Town House in Marblehead at 7 a.m. with a sign that read, “prevent animal cruelty.”
Question 1 offered Revere residents a second chance in less than a month to weigh in on expanded slot-machine gambling. Tailor-made for Revere and championed by investor Eugene McCain, Question 1 allowed for a slots parlor to be built at a location at least four acres in size and within 1,500 feet of a race track.
City officials have come out strong against the proposal, while McCain claimed a local slots parlor represented $80 million in new revenue for the state annually. Revere voters on Oct. 18 defeated a local referendum on slot parlor siting.
Speaking in front of Revere High School after casting her vote, Revere resident Janet Addonizio said she’s against Question 1 proposal to bring a slots parlor near Suffolk Downs race track. ”I’m not for it. I voted with my heart.”
Revere voter John Spadafore said that he had no opinion on Question 1. When asked for his overall take on the 2016 election he said, “It was pretty terrible.”
Question 4 asked voters to decide if adults over the age of 21 would be able to use, grow and possess a limited amount of the substance. Up to 10 ounces and six marijuana plants can be kept inside a single home; up to an ounce can be carried, but not used, in public.
Opponents have cited concerns of impaired driving and are uneasy with legalizing another drug in the middle of an opioid epidemic. Proponents argue that impaired driving from marijuana will be handled the same way as that from alcohol and debunk the notion that the substance is a gateway drug.