By Mike LaBella
---- — Voter turnout continued to be heavy across the Merrimack Valley late this morning.
At several polls in Haverhill, election workers said the turnout was remarkable. Instead of a heavy turnout in the early morning as people headed to work and then a lull before lunchtime, which is often the case on election day, the stream of voters was heavy all morning.
At Haverhill Public Library (Ward 3, Precinct 2) Warden Herb Bergh said at 10:20 a.m. the precinct had exceed its entire total of 182 ballots cast during September's primary election. A total of 271 voters had cast ballots today at that time. The precinct had 15 people waiting at the door when it opened, far more than a usual election.
In Groveland Town Hall, voting booths were packed most of the morning, as people flocked to the poll. The parking lot was full most of the morning. Town Clerk Ann Brodie predicted a 70 percent turnout, about the same as the last presidential election.
At Haverhill's Ward 7, Precinct 1, the Greystone elderly housing complex in Bradford, Warden Robyanne Cormier said at 9:13 a.m. that 347 ballots had been cast. That was about the total vote for the primary election. Cormier said she expects 1,400 out of the precinct's 2,500 registered voters, or 70 percent, to cast ballots.
The waiting line consisted of about 50 people waiting on the sidewalk outside the building at 6:45 a.m., 15 minutes before the poll opened. Cormier said besides the interest in the presidential election, voters are being lured to the polls by the U.S. Senate race between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, as well as local races.
This morning, Michael Grammont, 57, of Bradford, a machinist, said he voted for Romney and all other Republicans on the baltot.
"I voted all Republican because the last four years have been terrible,'' he said. "I'll never vote for a Democrat again.''
Cheryl Jillson, 51, of Bradford, a travel agent, said she voted for Obama.
"I think Romney is for the rich, the wealthy and the power driven,'' she said. "Obama cares for the middle class and seems more honest.''
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