By: Staff Reports On: 05:31PM / Tuesday September 14, 2010
Update 11:00 p.m.
Well, the votes are in and Tom Bowler and Gailanne Cariddi are the big winners so far tonight. In the 2nd Berkshire District, Michael Case beat out Rosanne Frieri for the Republican nomination but we here it's still neck and neck in the Democratic primary between Tom Szczepaniak and Paul Mark. The Berkshire Eagle called the race for Szczepaniak at 10 p.m. but an hour later PCTV said Mark was in the lead by 6 percent.
Update: 7:38 p.m.
The North County towns are reporting at least 30 percent turnout. In Adams, some 1,874 had voted by 6 p.m. with 33 percent turnout at the town's DPW garage. The town has 5,634 registered voters.
This was the first election for new Town Clerk Haley Meczywor, who described the experience as "interesting." "You really don't know what's going on [in an election] until you've been here all day," she said. "It's been really interesting."
Clarksburg had a 37 percent turnout at 7:20, with 409 voting out of about 1,119 registered voters. Cheshire had a 32.5 percent turnout shortly before 7, with 1,874 ballots cast out of 5,634 voters. Cheshire, in the 2nd District, had primaries for both Democrats and Republicans. We're told few Republican ballots were selected.
Samantha LaValley-Leary submits her vote into the Ward 5 ballot box at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center in North Adams.
Update 4:59 p.m.
We're getting a late start with election news today but we can tell you that voting is steady in the three biggest North County towns. In North Adams, nearly 2,000 had already cast votes with three hours left. Poll workers at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center, site of voting for Wards 1, 2 and 5, said the turnout has been steady since early this morning.
Last year's hotly contested mayoral election in the city saw more than 5,200 votes cast; that compares to just under 4,000 for the special Senate election that featured native daughter Martha Coakley.
"We vote whenever there's an election," said Donna LaValley-Leary of Ward 5.
We ran into David Bissaillon outside the North Adams polling station. The Adams resident is running for 1st Berkshire District and said he had a good feeling about the voting so far.
Dave Bissaillon rallies the troups in North Adams.
The former chamber president said he'd spent four or five hours in the hilltowns and in Franklin and Hampshire counties this morning. "I wanted to get to them and spend some time there," he said, adding that it was quiet at the polling stations but he expected things to pick up later in the day.
He was more pleased with a heavy turnout in Adams and Williamstown.
"I think it will be a strong turnout ... whatever happens, we'll all be smiling at the Bounti-Fare later."
Dan Bosley, the man whose shoes Bissiallon is trying to fill, was headed back to his office. He too was pleased with the turnout in his stamping grounds. Turnout will be critical factor in the race for sheriff, with Pittsfield native Tom Bowler expected to do well in his hometown. However, the county's biggest city has no other races on the ballot to draw voters out.
The mayoral election last year drew 13,215 votes, or around 46 percent; a similar number voted in the special Senate election. Pittsfield's primary last September drew fewer voters, but still nearly 8,000 for a 28 percent turnout.
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The state is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, who has been confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The state primary is Tuesday, April 30. The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary is Wednesday, April 10. Enrolled voters may only vote in their party primary; unenrolled voters may select a primary to vote in without changing their status.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
To register to vote, one must be at least age 18 by the date of the election, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the municipality in which you are voting.