Arlington voted on April 1st - no foolin! There were few surprises although some close races, and many incumbents were returned. Overall turnout was 22.3%.

Elected Official Races

For the Select Board, incumbents Len Diggins and Diane Mahon comfortably kept their seats over John Leone’s challenge. On the School committee, incumbents Elizabeth Exton and Paul Schlichtman returned and are joined by Laura Gitelson; all three had a comfortable lead over the other new challenger Jill Kristin Krajewski who was not elected.

With no credible opponents, incumbents Juliana Brazile returns as Town Clerk, and Mary Winstanley O’Connor returns to the Board of Assessors.

Town Meeting Precincts

In most precincts, town meeting member elections returned list of TMM Candidate Statements (PDF). Looking at the details of the official town results shows that when incumbents are running, they’ll almost always return. However TMM’s sometimes leave during their terms or don’t run again, and that’s where it gets interesting.

While precinct elections with incumbents often aren’t competitive, ones with open seats can hinge on just a few votes. Some interesting results from the 2023 TMM elections were:

  • Precinct 1 had a full six slots open with only two incumbents, and only five candidates on the ballot! Ballot candidates got a consistent 130 - 150 votes, while the write-in winner of Rebecca Persson collected 64 votes. It’s odd, somehow, the precinct only had a 16% turnout rate.
  • Precinct 3 had two incumbents and three newcomers for five slots - and the vote totals ranged from 187 votes to 202 votes. If this had been competitive, just a handful of votes would have changed it.
  • Precinct 6 had five slots open but only two ballot candidates, neither of them incumbents. Both candidates on the ballot were elected with 200+ votes, and two write-in winners were elected - with only two votes each!
  • Precinct 8 with a 26% turnout rate with six candidates for only 4 slots, where the difference between election cutoff was 173 votes to 160 votes.
  • Precinct 11 had a crowded field with only three incumbents on the ballot for 5 slots. All incumbents were elected with 200+ votes, and two write-in winners got in with 15 and 10 votes. But there were an astonishing 39 other write in candidate names - hard to imagine, with only 355 people voting in total. Precinct 13 similarly had 29 other write-in names.