While towns across Massachusetts are changing the date of their town elections to occur on the same day as the special primary for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, it is unlikely that Mansfield will take a similar action.
Locally, Wrentham, Plainville and Norfolk have moved their town elections to the same day as the primary. The Foxborough Board of Selectmen plan to take up the issue in the near future.
After looking at the pros and cons of a change at the Feb. 20 meeting of the Mansfield Board of Selectmen, town clerk Marianne Staples could not recommend moving the May 14 town election to April 30, the date of the Special U.S. Senate Primary according to town manager William Ross.
One of the issues was that the election would occur prior to the May 7 town meeting. Ross said that he would prefer that the election take place after the meeting to allow the board to better prepare and create the warrant for the meeting. Moving the election to the primary date would leave a potential new selectman with only a week between the election and the town meeting.
There would also be a need for more election day workers as there would technically be two elections happening instead of one according to Ross.
In the event that Mansfield does change the date of their town election, there is special legislation that supersedes any town charter to allow for the new date.