Published April 22, 2021

NORTH READING – In-person voting for the annual Town Election will take place on Tuesday, May 4 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the St. Theresa Church Hall, 51 Winter St. In addition, voting-by-mail continues to be available without restriction to any registered voter as an alternative to voting in-person on Election Day.

Wednesday, April 28 is the deadline to submit an application for a mail-in ballot. Additional information on this process and an application is available on the Town Clerk’s website at: where a sample ballot can also be viewed.

“Even though many persons have been – or will be – vaccinated by Election Day, as of this writing safety protocols issued under the Governor’s Order, as well as by our local Public Safety Officials, will continue to be observed at the polls for the safety and protection of the Election Staff, as well as the voters,” stated Town Clerk Barbara Stats.

• If you are ill or have a fever – please stay home.

• If you have unexplained chills, cough, sore throat, muscle pain, shortness of breath or new loss of taste or smell – please stay home.

• A mask that covers your nose and mouth should be worn before entering the polls and not removed until exiting the polls.

• A face shield is not a sufficient substitute for a mask.

• Observe 6 feet distancing at all times in all areas.

“Persons who do not follow these protocols are placing others at risk, who may in turn unknowingly expose their own family members or other persons. These safety measures have been shown to be effective in curbing the spread of this virus, and we will be expecting all persons to adhere to them for the greater safety of all,” she added.

In-person election-day voting guidelines

• Street directories will be posted on the Hall foyer walls if you do not remember your precinct. To find your precinct ahead go to: or call our office (978-357-5218).

• Check-in, check-out and information tables will have Plexiglas shields for safety.

• Electronic Poll-Pad and paper voting lists will both be used at the check-in tables: A driver’s license placed on the Poll Pad tray will provide a faster check-in, but is not required. The license is not used for ID purposes but merely to expedite the process.

Alternatively, voters may state their name and voting address at the check-in station.

• Each precinct’s polling area will be configured to maximize proper distancing between voters with limited booths to accommodate a limited number of voters at one time.

• In order to prevent cross-contamination, a disposable pencil will be provided to each voter at the check-in table together with their ballot: no ballot marking pens will be in the booths.

• Alternatively voters may bring their own black or blue pens to mark their own ballots. The tabulators read black, blue or hard lead pencil markings, but no other colors. Red pens are limited for use by election staff for the purpose of marking the voting lists.

• After marking their ballot, voters will go directly to the check-out table and state their address and name once again; only a paper list is used at the check-out table.

• After depositing their ballot into the tabulator, the voter should promptly exit the polling area through the rear exit doors (voters with accessibility issues will still be escorted to the door closest to their parked vehicle)

• No lingering or socializing will be permitted.

• In order to avoid cross-contamination, there will be no “I Voted” stickers at the check-out area.

• A trash receptacle will be located by the rear exit doors to dispose of the pencil and any PPE that the voter wishes to discard;

• Please discard all items only in the trash receptacle and not on the church’s property.

“These precautions are necessary to provide a safe voting environment and for the protection of all voters and the election staff to the greatest extent possible,” said Stats.

“Please recognize that all of the election staff have volunteered to assist at this election. They are willing to be at the polls to provide voters with the opportunity to vote in-person. Please respect all of these necessary precautions for their safety as much as your own, and please be sure to thank them for their willingness to serve you – the voter – under these continuing challenging circumstances,” she added.

Mail-in ballot application deadline April 28

For those voters considering voting by mail, signed applications or requests for ballots must be received in the Town Clerk’s Office by Wednesday, April 28. Requests for ballots may be mailed, emailed, faxed or placed in the Ballot Drop Box at the front entrance of Town Hall.

Returned ballots must be received back at the Town Clerk’s Office by 7 p.m. at the close of the polls on Election Day (Tuesday, May 4).

Returned ballots may be mailed or placed in the Ballot Drop Box outside Town Hall, 235 North St. The Ballot Drop Box will be locked immediately after the 7 p.m. deadline on election evening. Additional town election information can be found on the Town Clerk’s website at:

“Thank you for your understanding and anticipated compliance with these procedures in order that we may all experience a safe voting environment. If you will be voting in person on May 4, we will look forward to assisting you at the polls,” said Stats.

Meet the candidates

The following candidates are on the May 4 Town Election ballot.

• Kathryn M. Manupelli and Stephen J. O’Leary are both seeking reelection to three-year terms on the Select Board.

• Dyana M. Boutwell and Richard F. McGowan are both seeking reelection to three-year terms on the School Committee.

• Ryan J. Carroll and Jeremiah C. Johnston are both seeking reelection to three-year terms on the Community Planning Commission.

Carroll is seeking his second three-year term. Johnston was appointed March 1 to fill a vacancy on the board until Election Day and is running for his first three-year term.

• John J. Murphy is seeking his 17th consecutive one-year term as Town Moderator.

Contact the Town Clerk’s Office for any additional information or questions at 978-357-5218.