Voters across Massachusetts are heading to the polls today to vote in the Democratic Primary. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard took a look at the races in Western Massachusetts, and filed this report…
In Pittsfield’s Ward 5A polling place, warden Fran Lysonski said that voters were coming in steadily throughout the day, and though participation is generally lower in primary elections than general elections, she expects a pickup before the polls close this evening.
For the Berkshire County voters, today is the day where they will have to choose a democratic candidate from two hotly contested races – the race for a Middle Berkshire Register of Deeds, and the race for an open seat in Massachusetts’ redrawn first Congressional District. For the Congressional Race, the three democratic candidates are incumbent Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield, Alford writer and activist Bill Shein, and former State Senator and current Berkshire Middle District Register of Deeds Andrea Nuciforo. Because Nuciforo is leaving his post as Register of Deeds, candidates Jody Phillips, Scott Pignatelli, and Patsy Harris are vying for the position.
Linda Tyer, Pittsfield City Clerk, says that she expects more voters to turn out this year than in previous primary elections.
Because this is a democratic primary, only registered democrats and independent voters can participate. In Berkshire County, there are more registered Democrats than Republicans. In Pittsfield’s Ward 5A, Fran Lysonski said however that there is a more balanced mix than in other parts of the city.
In Lenox, Town Clerk Marie Duby said this afternoon that voter participation is also low, but has been steady throughout the day.
Duby said that she has noticed some voters in Lenox changing their party affiliation from Democrat to Undeclared, or Republican to Undeclared.
In addition to the Congressional and Register of Deeds races, Berkshire voters will also select democratic candidates running for renomination, including Benjamin Downing for State Senate, Tricia Farley-Bouvier for Representing the 3rd Berkshire District in the Massachusetts House, Paul Mark for the 2nd Berkshire District, and Gailanne Cariddi for the 1st Berkshire District. In the 4th Berkshire District, Democratic Candidate Wm. “Smitty” Pignatelli is running for his party’s nomination for State Representative. Deborah S. Capeless is running for Berkshire County Clerk of Courts.
The polls close this evening at 8 pm.