Southampton to hold dual special and state primary election Sept. 4

  • Southampton Town Hall, where voters will head to the polls on Sept. 4 for both a special election for Select Board and the state primary.  GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • Southampton Town Hall

Friday, June 08, 2018

SOUTHAMPTON — The town will hold a special election coinciding with the state primary on Sept. 4 to elect a member to the Select Board after an historic tie vote at the town election in May.

“The special election now starts the voting process all over again,” Town Clerk Janine Domina said.

Nomination papers will be available on July 3 and must be pulled by July 13. The deadline to file nomination papers with the Board of Registrars is four days later, on July 17, the same day the warrant for the town caucus will be posted.

The town will hold its caucus at 7 p.m. on July 24 at Town Hall and voters have until Aug. 15 to make sure they are registered for the special election, which will be held at Town Hall on Sept. 4 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

At the town’s regular election in May, 638 residents cast votes for Select Board incumbent Charles Kaniecki. Another 638 cast their votes for Matt Roland, a challenger who works in health care and who has been vocal as a citizen about supporting the recently passed Proposition 2½ override to fund town services. The split vote was the first tie Town Administrator Ed Gibson said he’s seen.

Kaniecki and Roland said they plan to run for the Select Board seat again in the special election. Other residents are also able to join the race for the special election.

Domina told the Select Board Tuesday they had options to choose from for the special election. The board could schedule a special election with 65 days notice, at the earliest Aug. 14, or it could hold a dual election coinciding with the primary, pending approval by the state. If the board chose not to hold a special election at all, 200 voters could petition for one. 

Either way, Domina said, the special election would incur costs for the printing of ballots, payroll and paying a police officer for the day of voting. However, she said that planning a dual election with the primary would save the town around $750. The Select Board voted unanimously for the dual election on Sept. 4.

Gibson said Thursday that the state approved the dual election as long as the Select Board vote takes place on a separate ballot on different colored paper than the Democratic or Republican primary ballots. 

“We’ll also have two separate check-ins and two check-outs,” Domina said. “One for the local election and one for the primary party ballot.”

M.J. Tidwell can be reached at mjtidwell@gazettenet.com.