Record number of absentee ballots cast in Bernardston town election

  • Poll worker Lou Atherton greets the few voters showing up at Bernardston Town Hall for the annual town election on Monday. Town Clerk Paul Luther is behind her. With no contests on the ballot, as of 1 p.m., Atherton had checked in seven walk-in voters but had received 66 absentee ballots. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 6/29/2020 11:53:31 PM

BERNARDSTON — The town election on Monday saw a record number of absentee ballots be cast as residents carried out their civic duties while practicing health safety recommendations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Town Clerk Paul Luther, of the total 88 ballots cast, 70 were absentee ballots. He said this beat Bernardston’s previous record for absentee voting at an annual town election by roughly 65 ballots.

Luther said the turnout of 5.31 percent was “a bit above average” for similar town elections. There are 1,656 registered voters in Bernardston.

This year’s election saw no contests, no positions without candidates, no known write-in candidates and no questions of policy on its ballot.

“All the uncontested candidates on the ballot won handily,” Luther noted.

The elected positions were filled as follows:

■Assessor, three-year term — Melissa Murphy

■Assessor, one-year term — Russell L. Deane

■Board of Health, three-year term — Jean Page

■Board of Health, one-year term — Barbara Killeen

■Constable, three-year term — Kathleen Montiglio

■Cushman Library Trustees, four seats with three-year terms — Jessica Byrnes, Justin Phelps Lawrence, Robert E. Lively and Lucy Damkoehler

■Moderator, three-year term — Geoffrey A. Wilson

■Powers Institute Trustees, four seats with three-year terms — Donna Eddy, Jonathan Pineo, Joanne H. Balzarini and Patriciann Grover

■Recreation Commission, three seats with three-year terms — Stephanie Shulda, Tara Stone and Andrew Easton

■Selectboard, three-year term — Brian J. Keir

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-930-4579.

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