AUBURN, Mass. – The town of Auburn came in sixth place out of 19 towns in the Sen. Louis Bertonazzi Foundation Outstanding Citizenship Award contest for 2011-2012.
Auburn had an average voter turnout of 26.05 percent over the five elections in the past two years. Upton had a voter turnout of 29.90 percent, winning the $1,000 award for being the town with the highest percentage of registered voters who actually voted in the five 2011-2012 elections.
“Twenty-six percent is pretty typical of what Auburn usually gets in this voting period,” Auburn Town Clerk Ellen Gaboury said. “It’d be nice to get first place, but I’m not sure what else I could do. I’ve explored all the publicity I can with the town website, facebook page and reaching out to news publications.”
Here are the voter turnout percentages for Auburn in the past five elections:
March 2011 local election – 19.33
March 2012 presidential primary – 12.52
May 2012 annual town election – 17.02
September 2012 state primary – 6.09
November 2012 presidential election – 75.28
The other towns in the contest with a higher voter turnout than Auburn were Westborough, Mendon, Bellingham and Northbridge, and towns with a lower voter turnout were Hopedale, Grafton, Milford, Millville, Blackstone, Dudley, Douglas, Charlton, Uxbridge, Southbridge, Sutton, Oxford and Webster.
The purpose of the citizenship contest is “to incentivize communities to look more carefully at how they exercise the hard-earned freedom to vote that has been handed down to them by the courage and sacrifice of so many who came before them.”
The Upton town clerk and Board of Registrars will receive a check for $1,000 to be used as they see fit to increase future voter turnout. The Upton Board of Selectman will be presented a plaque to be displayed for the next two years in the Upton Town Hall. And the people of Upton will receive a huge banner proclaiming Upton to be the “Best Voting Community 2011-2012” to be displayed as they see fit.
Gaboury encourages residents to vote at the next scheduled election on Tuesday, May 21, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school gym. The annual town election ballot will have residents voting on Selectmen, School Committee, Town Meeting members and other positions.