SHREWSBURY, Mass. - If voter turnout in Shrewsbury didn’t match 2008’s numbers, it was still very close.
About 79 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 2008 election. This year's election was one percent lower.
Warden Elaine Pescaro described voter turnout at Precinct 5, where voters lined up two hours before polls opened, as "awesome."
Pescaro said she saw election observers from the Democratic party throughout the day, but they weren't allowed to talk to voters, and they didn't challenge any votes.
The presence of observers and the fear of voter intimidation has been a contentious issue during the election.
Election wardens throughout town reported voter traffic was heaviest shortly before the polls opened and closed, and around noon.
This was the first presidential election that Shrewsbury used electronic voting machines. The machines were first used in the September primary, which had an extremely low turnout. Town Clerk Sandra Wright said there were some minor glitches resulting from the machines having to be emptied at every 700th ballot cast.
Wright and Pescaro said that no votes were lost as a result of the machines.
“We wouldn’t allow that to happen,” Pescaro said.
This election was a milestone for first-time voter Molly Rupard, 19.
"It felt great," she said. "I feel like it's something you gotta do."
Rupard's mother, Ellen said she was proud of her daughter. "This generation has a conscience, and they need to exercise it," she said.