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Towns Shift Election, Town Meetings This Spring

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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in municipalities across the Berkshires altering their town meeting and local election schedules.

For elections, town officials are encouraging voters to apply to receive mail-in ballots in order to protect the health of voters and ballot workers on election day.

Although the concept of absentee ballots is not new, in the past they have been limited to voters who "must be prevented from voting at their polling place on Election Day, due to: absence from the voter's city or town on Election Day; or physical disability; or religious belief."

This year, an act of the Legislature opened up mail-in balloting for all voters. A standard application, which can be returned by mail, fax or email (as long your signature is legible), can be obtained at the secretary of state's website here.

Some towns have links to an application on their town websites. If so, they have been included below. You can also register to vote on the secretary of state's website. 

Here is the latest rundown of new election and town meeting dates that have been determined:

Adams

The town election is rescheduled to Monday, June 1. The new voter registration deadline is Friday, May 22.

All applications for an absentee ballot must be received by the Town Clerk before 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, the last business day before the election. Any person may apply for an absentee ballot by sending a signed request to the Town Clerk’s office or filling out the absentee ballot application available here.

Early voting ballots must be received by the town clerk before the polls close at 8 p.m. on June 1.

Candidates on the ballot are: Christine Hoyt for Board of Selectmen; Erin Milne and Regina Hill for one seat on the Hoosac Valley Regional School Committee; Robert Harris, Linda Rhoads and Brian Bishop for two seats on the Board of Library Trustees; Bruce Dale Shepley and Daniel Maloney for two seats on the McCann School Committee; David Rhoads and Laura Grandchamp for two seats on the Board of Health; George Haddad for assessor; David Krzeminski for Planning Board; Fred Hobart for Cemetery Commission; Jacob Schutz for Parks Commission and Myra Wilk for town moderator. 
 
There is an vacant seat for Parks Commission, two for the Redevelopment Authority seats and one for Housing Authority seat. There are also 10 open town meeting seats for Precinct 1; 11 in Precincts 2 and 5; and 12 in Precincts 3 and 4.

The annual town meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 22; officials are still working on how it will operated. Citizens' petition must be returned to the town clerk's office by May 20 with the signatures of 10 registered voters to be included on the warrant. 

Becket

The annual town meeting will be Saturday, June 6, at 3 p.m. The annual town election will be Saturday, June 13, from noon to 4 p.m. The absentee ballot application must be returned by noon on Friday, June 12.

Cheshire

The annual town election will be held on Monday, June 1. Absentee and early voting applications can be found here. Applications must be received by the town clerk before 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 28. For more information, call 413-743-1690.

All seats are unopposed with the exception of a three-year seat on the Board of Health, for which incumbent Jeffrey Warner is being challenged by Michael Kruszyna.

Clarksburg

The annual town election will be held Thursday, June 11. Voter registration deadline is 8 p.m. Monday, June 1. Voters are encouraged to vote by mail. Voters must submit a signed ballot application with signature to the town clerk to be mailed a ballot. Applications and ballots may be returned via mail, by email to townclerk@clarksburgma.gov, or in the drop box at Town Hall. Send mailed request to: Attn: Town Election Official, Clarksburg Town Hall, 111 River Road, Clarksburg, MA 01247. Applications are available online here.

On the ballot will be Karin V. Robert for Select Board; Laura D. Wood for School Committee; Linda J. Hurlbut for library trustee; and Joseph Bushika III for War Memorial trustee. Write-ins can be made for a five-year seat on the Planning Board and for Board of Health, moderator and tree warden. 

The town meeting will be held Wednesday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. at a location to be announced. The deadline to register to vote in the election is June 4.

Updated May 6 with new dates.

Dalton

The annual town meeting will be held Monday, June 22. The annual town election will be held Monday, June 29. The application for an early ballot can be found here.

Egremont

The annual town election has been rescheduled to Friday, June 26, from noon to 5 p.m. An absentee ballot application is available here. Ballots should be returned to the Egremont Town Clerk, P.O. Box 368, South Egremont, MA 01258.

Florida

The town of Florida has postponed its local annual elections until Tuesday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee/early voting ballots are available now and encouraged. Those interested can send a request for ballots to Town of Florida, 379 Mohawk Trail, Drury, MA 01343  Attn: Town Clerk to have one mailed out. The last day to register to vote is June 3. Town meeting is set for 7 p.m. Friday, June 19.

Great Barrington

The annual town meeting will be held Monday, June 22, and Thursday, June 25, at 6 p.m. both nights. The annual town election will be held Tuesday, June 30, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The absentee ballot application can be found here.

Hancock

The annual town meeting and town elections have been postponed. No rescheduling date has been announced.

Lanesborough

The town has not had to reschedule. The annual town meeting is set for 6 p.m. June 9 and the annual town election is scheduled for June 16 from noon to 8 p.m. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is June 15 at noon. The deadlines to register to vote in town meeting and town election are May 20 and 27, respectively.

Lee

The annual town meeting will be held Thursday, June 18. The annual town election will be held Monday, June 22. Absentee ballot applications are due no later than noon on Friday, June 19.

The Lee Republican Town Committee caucus on Friday, May 15, from 5 to 5:30 p.m. outside Town Hall. Any registered Republican or unenrolled voter in Lee may be listed for nomination and anyone with 20 percent of the vote will be listed on the town's election ballot. Offices include moderator, selectman, School Committee, Planning Board, and Housing Authority. Information: Thom Swift at 413-243-6737 or thomswift@hotmail.com.

Lenox

The annual town meeting will be held Thursday, June 25. The annual town election will be held Monday, June 29. An absentee ballot application can be found here.

Monterey

The annual town meeting will be held Saturday, June 27, at 9:30 a.m. The annual town election will be held Tuesday, June 30, from noon to 7 p.m. An absentee ballot application can be found here.

Mount Washington

The annual town meeting will be held Tuesday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. The annual town election will be held Tuesday, June 9 from noon to 8 p.m.

New Ashford

Town meeting will be held June 23 and elections will be held June 30.

New Marlborough

The annual town election is June 29.

Otis

The annual town meeting scheduled for May 19 has been postponed to June 16 at 7 p.m. The new voter registration deadline is May 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m.

Richmond

The baby town meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, June 13, (time to be announced), and the annual town meeting for Wednesday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Richmond Consolidated School. The annual town election will be held on Saturday, June 20, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
 

Williamstown

Williamstown’s annual town election has been rescheduled to Tuesday, June 23. Applications to early vote by mail can be found online here.  Additional forms are available outside the town hall and Harper Center (on Church Street). The completed and signed application must be received by Monday, June 22, at noon. This application may only be used for the annual town election. Ballots may be returned via mail or put in the drop box next to the front door at Town Hall. 

The annual town meeting, which was scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, will not be held then but has not been rescheduled yet.

 

Any additions or corrections can be sent to info@iberkshires.cominfo@iberkshires.com.


Tags: COVID-19,   election 2020,   town elections,   


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