November 25, 2020

From the Town Clerk

Posted

Hello All ~ I hope the November issue of the Reporter finds you all healthy and safe.  As we enter the month of November, this is a friendly reminder that quarterly Real Estate & Property Taxes were due Monday, November 2nd

November 3, 2020 – State & Presidential Election
WOW – What an incredibly wild ride for the Rehoboth Clerk’s Office, Rehoboth Post Office, Election set up/break down crew, Election Workers and Palmer River Staff – Thank you ALL – we couldn’t have pulled off this unsurmountable election without you all!!!  Of the 10,028 registered Rehoboth voters, 78% (7,830) of the Rehoboth voters were afforded three ways to vote this year in the 2020 General Election – (1) Early Voting by Mail/Absentee Voting, (2) 14-days of In-Person Early Voting, inclusive of two full weekends, at Town Hall or (3) In-Person Voting on Election Day at Palmer River Elementary School.  Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Distancing Protocols, the 2020 State & Presidential Election looked much different than the 2016 Presidential Election; six-foot distancing markers, masks, gloves, disinfectant, Plexiglas shields, doors and windows open for proper ventilation and a limited number of voters entering the polling site in order to keep the voters, election workers and town staff healthy in safe.  Back in 2016 Rehoboth had almost 1,800 voters vote early compared to 2020 where almost 6,000 voters took advantage of either in-person early voting at Town Hall or mail-in early voting.  Rehoboth made local news, along with the Town of Easton, as having the largest Early Voting turnout in Bristol County at 51% of the voters of Rehoboth and Easton; Norton and Swansea 49%, Seekonk 48%, North Attleboro 43%, Fall River 23% and New Bedford at 21%.  Great Job Rehoboth voters and Election Workers!

Thank you to all the voters who came out in all types of weather (sunny/warm, rainy, cold and even snowy) prepared to vote with their masks, gloves, ballot pen and clipboard.  We saw a steady flow of voters each of the 14 days of Early Voting with many days seeing over 200 voters.  I would personally like to thank my Town Clerk Office Staff (Lynn, Odete and Logan) and the numerous Election Workers for hundreds and hundreds of hours of dedication to the voters of Rehoboth.  The past few weeks have been long and grueling, but all our efforts produced a well-run election enabling every voter to vote in a way they felt comfortable (mail-in, in-person early voting on in-person on election day). 

Early Voting was a huge success!  Due to the July 6, 2020 Acts of 2020 legislation, this year we were able to process the early voting ballots (but not print the totals until election day) of the 5,740 voters, prior to election day.  This really helped alleviate the long hours on Election night.  Also, for those voters who voted back in 2016, you will remember the long lines extending beyond all three precinct entryways and hours of waiting on line (not socially distanced 6-feet away) all day long.  Can you imagine how long the lines would have been in 2020 if we didn’t have the option to voter early!!  The 14-day early voting period and mail in ballot initiative really helped to alleviate the long lines at the polling site on Election Day ~ thank you voters who voted early!!  Many voters were concerned about all three precincts voting at Palmer River; however, due to early voting, being able to social distance all voters inside and outside of the Palmer River Gymnasium, we were able to keep all involved with the Election Day Process secure – safe and prayerfully healthy.  Almost every voter was kind enough to wear a mask for the protection of themselves and others ~ thank you!  Thank you, Election Workers, for bundling up and enduring the 16 ½ hours with the gymnasium outside doors open, (while windy and cold) as required by Massachusetts Board of Health, so there was plenty of ventilation in the polling area and with the door remaining open it eliminated a common touch point for voters.  It was cold, but our Election Workers are tough and processed all of our 2,090 in-person voters on Election Day efficiently and effectively.  Thank you, Palmer River Custodians, Administration, Office Staff, Gym Teacher and South Coast Collaborative, for allowing us to utilize the Gymnasium for the 11-3-2020 Election ~ we understand the inconvenience it caused and appreciate your help in permitting Rehoboth to hold the 9-1-2020 Primary and 11-3-2020 Presidential Election in the Palmer River Gymnasium.  Thank you for allowing Democracy in Rehoboth to be held in a safe, secure and efficient manner!

Speaking of Thank You . . . Derek Melanson – Rehoboth Postmaster and his staff have gone above and beyond with all three elections this year (6-30 Town, 9-1 Primary, 11-3 Presidential).  Derek made the decision to keep all Rehoboth Ballots in Rehoboth rather than sending to Providence, which could take up to 7-10 days to arrive in our office.  Derek and his staff, took the ballots we delivered in the morning and had them in the voter mailboxes either the same afternoon or next day.  Derek also had to postal carriers bring back all voted ballots that were left in voter’s mailboxes and were processed the same day so our office would receive when we picked up in the morning.  We even had a Rehoboth resident, who works at the Swansea Post Office, see a ballot, postmarked 11-3-2020, to be mailed to Rehoboth and personally drove the ballot, which was mailed from Swansea and hand delivered to Derek Melanson on Election Day so it could be counted.  Derek waited for the last mail truck from Providence to come in to Rehoboth on Election Night and hand delivered all ballots that were postmarked 11-3-2020.  Thank you, Derek, and the Rehoboth Postal Staff for a job well done.  The voters and I cannot thank you enough!  You too allowed Democracy to be demonstrated in Rehoboth because of all your hard work ~ thank you all!

Finally, to my amazing new and seasoned Election Workers & Town Clerk Office Staff who worked the Election and In-Person Early Voting session – words cannot express my gratitude for all you have endured.  The 14-day In-Person Early Voting was like running 14 mini-elections while processing over 5,000 mail-in ballots.  Setting up and breaking down the Palmer River Gymnasium in record time was absolutely a marvel to observe.  Thank you all for your help in processing a total of 7,830 voters who wished to have their voices heard in the 2020 Presidential Election.  You did it professionally, with a smile, efficiently and effectively~ thank you all!  Because of your efforts – Democracy was shown at its best.  I cannot thank you all enough!

Below are a few of the highlights of the Election 2020 Unofficial Tally Sheet.  For full details please go to the Town Website @ https://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/home/news/november-3-2020-state-and-presidential-unofficial-election-results .

November 3, 2020 – State & Presidential Election

Votes Cast 7,830 = 78% / 10,028 Total Registered Voters

Presidential

 

            Biden/Harris

3,590

            Trump/Pence

4,026

 

 

Senator in Congress

 

            Markey

3,590

            O’Connor

3,949

            Write-In:  Dr. Shiva

74

 

 

Question #1 – Automotive

 

            YES

5,014

             NO

2,527

 

 

Question #2 – Rank Choice Voting

 

            YES

2,470

             NO

4,942

THANK YOU ALL FOR VOTING!!!

Upcoming December 1, 2020 – Town Meeting
I understand the Board of Selectmen have scheduled a postponed Annual Town Meeting for Tuesday, December 1st.  As I have not been privy of the details, please look for a Warrant to arrive in your households soon detailing the location and articles to be voted on.  Any questions on the upcoming meeting should be directed to the Board of Selectmen’s Office ~ thank you.

2020 Dog License Reminders
Please register your dog(s) either online, by mail, or in person to avoid any future late fees.  Thank you! 

Town Offices Closed
Just a reminder, Town Offices will be closed on Monday, November 11, 2020 to observe Veteran’s Day and Thursday, November 26th for Thanksgiving Day.  In addition to Thanksgiving Day, Town Offices will close at noon on Wednesday, November 25th and remain closed on Friday, November 27th, the day after Thanksgiving.

Please Thank A Veteran
Please take a moment on Veteran’s Day (November 11) to think about and thank the Veterans in your life, along with all the other Veterans for their dedication, service, and sacrifice for our Country. I thank you all!

Congratulations Lynn
I would like to take a moment to recognize and congratulate Lynn Shaker, Assistant Town Clerk, on her 15th Anniversary of dedicated service to our town.  It is an absolute pleasure to work with Lynn every day and our town residents are extremely fortunate to have her assistance over the years.   At this time, I not only want to congratulate Lynn, but all our town employees for their dedication and longevity to our town.  It is amazing to me that Lynn is considered a relative newcomer compared to the loyalty of the majority of our town employees.  Many of our other employees have worked for the town for over 15 years, with a number of our dedicated public servants serving the residents for over 25-30+ years.  This certainly demonstrates how loyal your town employees are and how fortunate the town is to have such longevity and history at your service every day. 

Congratulations Mandy Ezyk
Speaking of dedicated town employees, Congratulations Mandy Ezyk on your recent retirement from the Assessor’s Office after 22 years of dedicated years of service.  We all miss you and wish you a wonderful retirement.  Please come back and visit, we all love you!

Finally, Lynn, Odete and I would like to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  Have a healthy and safe November. I look forward to chatting with you again in December.

Finally, Lynn and I would like to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  Have a healthy and safe November.  I look forward to chatting with you again in December.

Sincerely,
Laura

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