Holyoke voters to narrow field of mayoral candidates Tuesday

  • Holyoke City Hall, photographed on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/20/2021 4:05:31 PM

HOLYOKE — On Tuesday, voters in Holyoke will narrow down the city’s mayoral field from seven candidates to two.

The preliminary election will decide which two candidates move on to compete in a general election on Nov. 2. The candidates are: academic and activist Gloria Caballero Roca; Blandford Town Manager Joshua Garcia; writer William Glidden, who was an aide to former Holyoke mayor Alex Morse; businessman Christopher Kosinski; School Committee member Devin Sheehan; and at-large City Councilors Rebecca Lisi and Michael Sullivan.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Early voting was open all last week at City Hall. As of Monday afternoon, 812 people had already voted early, either by mail or in person, according to City Clerk Brenna Murphy McGee.

The city has implemented a mask mandate for public buildings, meaning voters should wear a mask when at the polls, Murphy McGee said.

Two precincts have seen their polling place change recently: 1B, which will now vote in City Hall on the basement level, and 3A, which will vote at Joseph Metcalf School.

The city will be using new voting machines from the election services firm LHS Associates.

Tuesday will be the city’s first use of the machines, though Murphy McGee noted that all poll workers have been trained to use them. A representative from the company will also be on hand Tuesday for any unexpected challenges. Murphy McGee said she doesn’t expect any problems with the machines, but urged voters to be understanding if there are any minor hiccups.

“Be patient, it’s still a learning curve for everybody,” she said.

Murphy McGee said she expects voter turnout to be between 20% and 25%, based on past turnout during preliminary elections.

“We usually go by the last few similar elections when we’re trying to anticipate voter turnout,” she said. “Although we do have seven candidates on this ballot so I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a little bit higher turnout.”

Some voters decide not to vote in preliminary elections, thinking they’ll wait until November to make their voices heard, Murphy McGee said. But Murphy McGee stressed that preliminary elections are also vital.

“If you want your candidate to go on, it’s now that’s important,” she said.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.

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