Franklin County voters weigh in

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>There was good turnout for voting at Greenfield High School on Tuesday.<br/>
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Lawn signs line the entry to the parking lot at Greenfield High School.<br/>

Voters packed local polling places Tuesday to have a say in two high-stakes elections that could influence the future direction of the country.

Throughout the day in southern Franklin County towns, voters bombarded town halls, fire stations and elementary schools to vote in the 2012 presidential and Massachusetts senate races. In Deerfield, vehicles filled the town hall parking lot and spilled onto Conway Street and the front lawn as early as 10 a.m. In Whately, residents once again parked across the Town Hall lawn and used the Whately Inn parking lot. Vehicles also came to and from the Sunderland Elementary School nonstop.

By noontime, 1,392 Deerfield residents, 970 Sunderland residents and 552 Whately residents voted. have the most impact on the direction of the country. One key race that could tip the country toward the left or right is here in Massachusetts — the race between Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.

In liberal-leaning Franklin County, many residents supported Warren.

Jeanne Prokowich, an independent, said Warren is “very solid on the issues. She doesn’t talk. She does it.”

Winnie Guilford, a Democrat, said said looked at the candidates’ records before making her decision.

“I’m more content and pleased with (Warren’s) record than (Brown’s.) I looked at the cases she took and how she fought them.”

With only h

“This is more than we’ve seen in a long time,” said Sunderland Town Clerk Wendy Houle.

Houle did not have past election numbers on hand to compare.

Frontier Regional High School students conducted exit polls in the three towns for a government course. The students reported most voters supported Obama.

Chelsea Royal, a Deerfield resident and Frontier student, said many people based their vote on policy rather than party.

The exit poll proved true for many residents, who wanted to give the president more time to implement his policies. The biggest issue on many voters’ minds was the economy.

“He’s done a good job in the past four years. He just needs more time to make his policies work,” said Cassidy Stankowski, 18, a first-time voter and Frontier student.

“I believe Obama is doing a good job,” said Mark Fabianowicz, of Sunderland. “I am confident he’ll be able to get the country back on track. I don’t believe in much of what Romney is voting for.”

However, not all voters cast their ballots for Obama.

Whately Deputy Fire Chief Gary Stone supported Romney.

“I want to see something different,” Stone said.

Ronald Angelo, of Sunderland, said he voted for Romney based on his education, background and experience.

“Romney is dedicated to public service —not self service,” Angelo said.

Although the presidential race receives much of the attention, the results of the congressional elections couldours until closing time, many voters were relieved that the end was near.

“This election seems confusing,” Stone said. “It is more battling against each other than the candidates telling us what they will do to help us.”

Jim Perchak of Sunderland said this year’s presidential and senate races were tough.

“I don’t know which way to go. I don’t think it matters who gets in. It’ll be tough for one guy to do anything,” Perchak said.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:

or 413-772-0261, ext. 268

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