The Board of Selectmen voted to change the date of the annual town election.
Town Clerk Patrick Ward stood before the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday evening with a request to change the date for town election from Tuesday, May 7 to April 30, 2013.
The town received the Governor’s plan to hold the special state election to fill John Kerry’s empty Senate seat on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. With that came the plan for a special state primary to be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, one week before the town election.
“After careful consideration, I am recommending that the board change the election date to April 30, 2013 so that the special state primary and the annual town election be held on the same day,” Ward said. “While holding two elections in the same day holds set of unique, holding two elections within seven days of each other presents many more.”
Having two elections on the same day has its benefits. Ward said that voters will have greater access to both ballads while the town would save $45 thousand dollars.
“We have historically had issues with voter turnout for town election,” Selectman Nancy Daily said. “I think it would be crazy to hold two elections a week a part. The turnout would suffer more than usual.”
The election would have the same set up with one ballot machine, which would be counted separately.
“There are certainly some challenges with holding the two elections on the same day,” Selectman Ken Goldstein said. Ward agreed, but said it could be done and has been done before.