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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Newton North vote turnout "steady" in North Newton

NEWTON

Turnout for the referendum vote on the current $151 million plan for a new Newton North High School was steady, but not overwhelming, precinct wardens on the city's north side said this morning.

Voters are being asked to approve or disapprove of the city's current site plan for a building to replace an aging, dysfunctional facility that was built in the early 1970s. Supporters say the new design is solid and the plan is affordable, critics say it is too expensive and fraught with potential traffic, flooding and environmental problems.

Judy Eyal, warden of the polling station at Newton North, said that there had been 331 ballots cast as of 11 a.m. That count included 63 absentee ballots, including one sent by a voter in Israel.

"It's been less than a normal election," Eyal said. "But it's higher than one would normally expect for a one-issue special election."

Over at the Horace Mann School in Newtonville, precinct warden Merrill Pregeant said that by 11:20 a.m., voters had used just over 200 of the 1,000 ballots the city provided for the election.

"It's been steady," Pregeant said.

-- Ralph Ranalli

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