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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hudson polls slow, but GOP voters making choices

HUDSON – If anything, Tuesday’s primary will make for good practice for November’s general election.

As seen in neighboring Nashua, Hudson had a steady but slow pace of residents excercising their franchises – their rights to vote – Tuesday morning.

Town officials hope the pace will quicken during lunch breaks and after-work hours. If it doesn’t get busier, police at least had an opportunity to see the results of a new traffic pattern at the polling station.

Hudson has only one polling station – at the town Community Center – so it seemed busier, by sight, than one of Nashua’s nine ward locations. But turnout so far has been low, said town Moderator Paul Inderbitzen.

At just after 11 a.m., 1,484 people had voted, Inderbitzen said. “It’s slower than I thought it would be,” he said.

Hudson has more than 12,500 registered voters.

At that rate, the town would probably finish with a 4,000-5,000-voter turnout, Inderbitzen said. That would fall short of Inderbitzen’s expectation of a turnout of 9,000 voters.

Outside Hudson Community Center, the atmosphere – or the lack thereof – also mirrored many of Nashua’s polling stations: dull. Only a handful of supporters held placards for candidates, but made little noise.

The town – which historically leans Republican – had so far seen a 10-1 GOP to Democratic voter turnout, Inderbitzen said. Of course, with Democratic President Obama running for reelection, it is ostensibly a day for Republican voting.

Judy Maitland turned to Ron Paul. She doesn’t know how Paul will fare in this primary, let alone in the general election, but felt comfortable casting a vote for him now.

Maitland particularly likes Paul’s view that businesses, and not government, should take more responsiblity for offering good health care.

Bill Brown almost voted for Rick Santorum, but when he walked into the ballot box, he changed his mind and backed Paul, he said. Paul has the best chance of beating Obama in the election, he said.

Steve Thompson said he was on several air flights in the past with Newt Gingrich. But that’s not why Thompson voted for the former U.S. Speaker of the House.

Gingrich would make decisions, as president, that would be less partisan than the other Repubican candidates, Thompson said. And contrary to Gingrich detractors’ opinions, having experience in Washington does matter, he said. It takes nearly a full term for an “outside” president to accomplish anything, Thompson said.

Albert McKeon can be reached at 594-6528 or amckeon@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow McKeon on Twitter (@Telegraph_AMcK).