All Lexington preliminary figures and percentages updated with final certified results Monday, Nov. 28 at 7:12 p.m.
On a crowded ballot with few competitive races, Lexingtonians supported Democrats up and down the ticket and voted to approve an amendment to the state constitution establishing an additional tax on income over a million dollars in Tuesday’s midterms.
The Town’s votes aligned with statewide outcomes on all non-local candidates and ballot questions except for Question 3, which proposed expanding alcohol licenses for retailers in a limited way. Lexingtonians narrowly voted to support this measure, but it was defeated in the statewide election, according to certified Town election results.
At Cary Memorial Hall, the polling place for voters from precincts 4 and 6, a steady stream of voters flowed in and out of the building early Tuesday evening. Of about 10 voters LexObserver spoke with — from a newly eligible 18-year-old to parents bringing young children to the polls — most said they showed up out of a sense of civic responsibility, and did not feel passionate support for any specific candidate or ballot measure. But among specific races, voters tended to single out ballot measures on the new ‘millionaires tax,’ dental insurance regulation and drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants as the most motivating issues at stake in this year’s election.
Across statewide offices, Lexington’s strong Democratic bent translated to decisive support for the winning Democratic candidates — more than 10 percentage points higher than the statewide outcomes for most candidates. Maura Healey, the first woman and openly lesbian individual elected governor in Massachusetts, won 78.2% of the Lexington vote with her running mate Kim Driscoll, while Republicans Geoff Diehl and Leah Allen garnered 20.3% of the vote. Andrea Campbell won 78.1% of the Lexington vote to become Massachusetts’s first Black woman attorney general. Incumbent William Francis Galvin earned 80.4% of votes from Lexingtonians to continue serving as secretary of state, while incumbent treasurer Deborah Goldberg earned 86% of local votes. In the contest for auditor, a slightly closer competition than other statewide races, Democrat Diana DiZoglio comfortably bested Republican nominee Anthony Amore, who was the only candidate endorsed by outgoing Governor Charlie Baker. In Lexington, DiZoglio won with 66.8% of votes.
On ballot questions, similarly, Lexingtonians showed stronger support for all four proposed measures than voters on the state level.
Statewide, Question 1, the constitutional amendment to impose an additional 4% tax on income over $1 million with the goal of generating additional education and transportation funding, passed with 52% of overall votes in favor. The closely fought contest was not called until Wednesday afternoon. Lexingtonians voted in favor of the new tax by a slightly wider margin, with 55% yes votes. According to the Boston Globe, wealthier towns tended to vote against Question 1 for the most part – but Lexington, with a median household income of $185,686, was among the few municipalities to challenge that trend. Lexington has the third highest median income of any Massachusetts town that voted in support of the new tax, topped only by Wayland and Carlisle. Lexington’s former state representative, Jay Kaufman, worked for years to help get this measure on the ballot.
Question 2, which requires that dental insurers spend at least 83% of premiums on care rather than on administrative costs, was the least contested ballot question both on the state level and in Lexington. At the state level, it passed with 71.5% of votes in favor; in Lexington, 78.7% of voters supported the measure.
Lexingtonians were most closely divided on a multifaceted alcohol sales regulation proposal that would have gradually expanded the number of alcohol licenses a retailer can hold for beer and wine while limiting the maximum number of hard alcohol licenses per retailer. Smaller retailers proactively proposed the ballot measure in an attempt to fend off further dominance of alcohol sales by large chains, as reported by the Globe. A total of 51.4% of Lexingtonians supported this measure – casting just a few hundred votes more than the opponents. But on the state level, 55.3% of voters rejected the alcohol sale compromise.
On the other hand, Question 4, which asked voters to approve a state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, was upheld by both state-level and Lexington voters. While this question received 53.7% of votes in favor on the state level, 69.7% of Lexingtonians supported the measure. The law will take effect next summer.
Vanessa Keeney was among in-person voters at Cary Hall on Tuesday. She said she felt it was very important to vote in these midterm elections as a general matter of “civic duty.” On this year’s ballot, though, questions “number one and number four were probably the most important for me,” she said. She voted in support of both measures.
Vinita Verma, a Town Meeting Member from Precinct 6, also voted in person Tuesday evening. She also supported Question 1, and put up a yard sign in favor of the measure. “Initially, everybody was hesitant,” Verma said, but after researching what exactly the tax would apply to and reaching out to volunteers involved in the ballot campaign, she decided to support it.
At the federal level, Assistant Speaker of the House Katherine Clark easily kept her seat in a contest against Republican challenger Caroline Colarusso. In Lexington, Clark earned 79.6% of votes, and across District 5 she earned a comparable 73.8% of votes.
Lexington was one of multiple communities across District 5 that received complaints alleging that some voters were illegally or incorrectly registered. In Lexington, a Nov. 1 complaint from Lexington Republican Town Committee member Catherine White alleged that 754 individuals were incorrectly or illegally registered to vote in Lexington. White based her complaint on National Change of Address (NCOA) records analyzed by a Florida-based company at the request of the Colarusso campaign; the complaint listed changes in 754 Town voters’ mail forwarding addresses to locations outside Lexington over six months ago. On Monday, Lexington’s Board of Registrars unanimously voted that the complaint was insufficient, in part because they agreed that a change in mail forwarding address does not necessarily correspond to a change in domicile.
All other candidate races, including for Lexington’s state legislature representation, were uncontested.
This year’s 64% turnout was well below 2018’s 73% turnout, but far higher than the most recent state primary (29%) or most recent local election (12% for the police station debt exclusion). This year, Precinct 2 had the highest voter turnout at 69%, while Precinct 8 had the lowest turnout at 61%.
The 2022 midterms took place after the state legislature expanded mail-in voting and early voting this summer, making many of the temporary absentee voting measures implemented during the pandemic permanent. In Lexington, many voters appear to be making use of the expanded voting options. Pre-pandemic, during the 2018 midterms, only about 700 voters applied for absentee ballots total, per voting records shared by Town Clerk Mary de Alderete. On the other hand, this year, close to 8,900 Lexingtonians requested mail-in early voting ballots this election – not including about 500 more voters who still applied for official absentee ballots, which require specific qualifications unlike other mail-in ballots despite being, for the most part, functionally interchangeable.
Still, some, like Julie LeVeen, continue to favor the ritual of voting in person on Election Day. “I have voted by mail before, but when I have the choice, I prefer to come in person,” she said on Tuesday. “It is a really nice chance to catch up with a neighbor who works here at the polls.”