When we moved to our house in Fremont Place in 1995, we thrilled to learn that our polling place was the house next door! For years, John and Sally Woodward who lived at 76 Fremont Place hosted voters in the neighborhoods near by what is currently number Precinct 9000006A. Neighbors, Lorna Gentile, Emily Maverick and Shelby Conti served as volunteer poll workers and the voting took place in the Woodward’s dining room and front hallway.
I asked Andrew Woodward if he remember exactly when his parents started offering their home. “I do not remember exact date. But I do remember the first year my mom volunteered at some place within the neighborhood and came home and said, ‘I am not sitting in some dark garage on a cold concrete floor, again!’ and this is when Sally offered her home. It had to be during the mid to late 1960s, because I was in grammar school.”
Woodward explained that in those days, “we had to have stamp pads with black ink and voters used a rubber stamp “X,” to mark their candidate. The polling volunteers worked late into the night tallying the votes and putting the totals on a board on our front porch so people could read the results of the voting.”
“I also remember there was another volunteer who, at the time, I thought was really old (probably, in her 60s!) who lived in Muirfield and made this incredible fudge. I still remember the fudge and have never had any as good since then!”
“I also, remember my sister Gerry and I were Sally’s free labor. We were assigned (ordered) to set up the booths, voting machines (when punch card machines were introduced—a BIG deal back then—it was going to make things easier and without mistakes!), there lights in each booth and we had to round up the extension cords for each booth,” recalled Woodward.
About ten years ago, we started hosting the poll place because the county elections office was looking for handicapped accessible sites and because there were two steps to get into the Woodward’s dining room, it was considered inaccessible for some voters. When we were asked if they could use our garage, we immediately said yes! We are honored to continue the tradition started by Sally Woodward many years ago and welcome our neighborhoods into historic Fremont Place. Though our garage, the only handicapped accessible space we have, is not as nice and certainly not as neat, (though it motivates us to try to clear out as much junk as we can before each election!) as Sally’s home, we do offer leftover Halloween candy just like she did. We have lots this year — so come on over and vote!
Voters in Precinct 9000006A vote at 78 Fremont Place