SPRINGFIELD, MA – AUGUST 2023 – The Springfield City Library is partnering with the City’s Election Commission to offer residents an opportunity to meet candidates for local elections. Participants can bring their concerns, ask questions, and hear directly from candidates at the free event planned for the Mason Square Branch Library, located at 765 State Street in Springfield, on Wednesday, August 30th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The library will be closed for regular business but the doors on State Street and Monroe Street will be open for attendees to access the branch’s community room.
While at the event, people can also check their voter status, find out where their polling place is and register to vote. The program is timed to allow people to get registered before the deadline for the September 12th preliminary election; municipal elections are scheduled for November 7th.
“Typically, most of the attention is paid to November elections. But some races have drawn so many candidates that there is a preliminary election for those seats. The outcome in September for those races will determine which candidates will make it onto the ballot in November, making this event a critical one for voters to speak one-on-one with the candidates and choose among them. As former President Barack Obama recently noted in an open letter to library workers across the nation, libraries ‘provide spaces where people can come together, share ideas, participate in community programs, and access essential civic and educational resources. Together, library workers help people become informed and active citizens, capable of making this country what they want it to be.’ This is the goal of the Meet the Candidates event,” said Assistant Director for Public Services Jean Canosa Albano, leader of the Springfield City Library’s Civic and Community Engagement Team.
Partnering with Springfield City Clerk and Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola means that this event can be one-stop shopping for residents: learn about all the races and the candidates, and make sure you are registered to vote at the same time. Oyola added: “We will run a mock election at the event so voters can practice filling out a mock ballot and feeding it into the voting machine. We want everyone to feel comfortable when they go to the polls on September 12th.”
If you are working on a campaign and haven’t responded yet or missed the invitation, please contact Jean Canosa Albano at 413-263-6828, ext. 291.
Founded in 1857, the Springfield City Library provides nearly 5000 educational and recreational programs per year. To learn more, visit www.springfieldlibrary.org.
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