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Despite Temporary Ballot Shortage, Northampton Will Not Redo Override Vote

Bags that carry ballots to polling places in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Carol Lollis
Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com
Bags that carry ballots to polling places in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Northampton, Massachusetts, officials have decided not to redo the city’s override vote, despite a ballot shortage in one precinct.

Northampton held both a presidential primary and municipal election on a tax override.

City clerk Pamela Powers said that for about 45 minutes just before 6:00 p.m., one city ward ran out of municipal ballots before replacements arrived.

Powers said about 50 people didn’t get the ballots — though some came back to vote later.

Since the override passed by a much greater margin than that — 68% "yes "to 32% "no" — the city solicitor did not recommend a new vote, and the mayor’s office concurred. Even the head of a group against the override agreed with that decision.

Powers said she’s nevertheless frustrated any voter was inconvenienced.

"I think that there is integrity in the in the system overall," Powers said. "We didn't screw up the process. We screwed up the communication piece of it, which I acknowledge."

Powers said this is the first ballot shortage in Northampton — and next election, she plans to send out ballot replacements much earlier in the day.

Karen Brown is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter for NEPM since 1998.