Voters head to polls Tuesday in Northampton

  • Heather Bell, an election worker, gets ballot envelopes ready for early voters while Dennis Helmus, an election worker, talks with Diane Welter who was at the Northampton Senior Center to cast her ballot last Thursday afternoon. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/27/2021 4:40:51 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Voting in the city’s preliminary election gets underway at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

The preliminary election will determine which two mayoral candidates advance to the Nov. 2 general election, and eliminate one City Council at-large candidate from a field of five.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All mail-in votes must be received by the city clerk’s office at City Hall, 210 Main St., by the close of polls. Those who requested an early ballot can return it to the clerk’s office or place it in the secure ballot drop box outside City Hall.

The candidates to become Northampton’s 45th mayor are City Council President Gina-Louise Sciarra, social worker Shanna Fishel, retired resident Roy Martin and transportation analyst Marc Warner. The candidate in the second position on the ballot, Rosechana Gordon, dropped out of the race in August.

The mayor earns $92,500 per year and serves a four-year term.

Sciarra is giving up her at-large seat to run for mayor, and the other incumbent at-large councilor, Bill Dwight, is not seeking reelection. Mayor David Narkewicz, the city’s chief executive since 2011 after serving as a city councilor for six years, announced in January that he would not run again.

The candidates for City Council at-large, in ballot order, are Ward 1 City Councilor Michael Quinlan, former Ward 5 councilor David Murphy, defense attorney and Planning Board vice chair Marissa Elkins, writer and activist Jamila Gore, and progressive political organizer Michelle Serra.

City councilors serve two-year terms, and the two at-large seats come with $9,500 stipends.

Early voting was offered last week at the Senior Center and by mail or ballot drop box. City Clerk Pamela Powers said only 1,000 of the city’s 21,000 registered voters took advantage of the new procedures, a number that is on pace with previous preliminary elections in which only in-person voting on election day or absentee voting with a valid excuse were allowed.

The deadline for any candidate to petition for a recount is Oct. 4 at 5 p.m., at which point the city clerk’s office will hold a randomized drawing to determine ballot position for the general election.

Where’s my polling place?

To find out one’s polling place, check the list below or visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website at sec.state.ma.us/WhereDoIVoteMA/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx.

Ward 1: Jackson Street School, 120 Jackson St.

Wards 2 and 5B: Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, 80 Locust St.

Wards 3 and 4: Senior Center, 67 Conz St.

Ward 5A: Florence Civic Center, 90 Park St.

Ward 6: Ryan Road School, 498 Ryan Rd.

Ward 7A: JFK Middle School, 100 Bridge Rd.

Ward 7B: Leeds Elementary School, 20 Florence St.

Brian Steele can be reached at bsteele@gazettenet.com.



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