Five candidates certified for Town Election

Mar 19, 2020 by

Published March 19, 2020By MAUREEN DOHERTY

NORTH READING — Minutes after the 5 p.m. deadline passed on Tuesday to submit nomination papers for inclusion on the ballot in the annual Town Election, Town Clerk Barbara Stats announced that all five candidates had met the qualifications as candidates for public office.

John Murphy, Christopher Hayden, Mary Prenney, Scott Buckley and Vincenzo Stuto each submitted nomination papers that met or exceeded the minimum number of 50 certified signatures of registered voters in the town, enabling their names to be printed on the ballot.

No other candidates had come forward by March 17 at 5 p.m., therefore all five will be officially unchallenged in the annual election on Tuesday, May 5.

Murphy is the incumbent Town Moderator running for re-election to the one-year term. Hayden is the incumbent member of the Community Planning Commission (CPC) running for a three-year term. Prenney is the incumbent member of the Housing Authority running for a five-year term. Buckley is the incumbent School Committee chairman running for a three-year term. Stuto is a political newcomer running for a three-year term on the Select Board and is also a new member of the Finance Committee to which he was appointed last fall. Incumbent Andrew Schultz chose not to run for a second term on the Select Board.

The last day a resident of the town can register to vote in the May 5 annual Town Election is Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

A Special Town Meeting is also slated to be held this spring, on Monday, May 11. Townspeople have until Friday, May 1 to register to vote if they wish to participate and there is a quorum requirement of 150 in the Town Charter for Special Town Meetings. It was called by the Select Board to determine if the town wants to exercise its right of first refusal in the purchase of the Seven Acres Poultry Farm.

Although Town Hall is presently closed to the public in the wake of the closure of public buildings across the state while the COVID-19 pandemic criss-crosses the nation, residents should be aware that they always have the option to register to vote online or check their voting status by going to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/

The commonwealth’s online voter registration system enables citizens to register or pre-register to vote (if they are under 18), update their address or party affiliation, update their name and check their registration information. This information is sent electronically to the local Town Clerk’s office, which then mails a letter to the voter confirming the voter registration.

North Reading had 11,383 registered voters on Super Tuesday.

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