Concord's voting machines went through testing ahead of April 9's election. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

Concord gearing up for April 9 town election

By Celeste Katz Marston 

Concordians head to the polls Tuesday to make their picks in contested races for Select Board, School Committee and more. 

Four candidates are vying for two slots on the Select Board.

Incumbent Henry Dane, an attorney who’s the current board chair, is in the race with data science company CEO Joe Laurin, energy executive Cameron McKennitt, and Wendy Rovelli, a veteran of the finance and managed care sectors. 


Three Concordians are competing for two School Committee seats.

Liz Cobbs is a former pharmaceutical executive and current Personnel Board co-chair. Andrew Herchek is COO of a high-quality water systems company. And Tracey Marano, the current School Committee chair, is a former special education teacher and assistant principal.  


Also on the ballot in the nonpartisan election are two other incumbents running unopposed: Town Moderator Carmin Reiss and Housing Authority member Edward Larner.  


The Select Board and School Committee berths are for three-year terms. The moderator serves for one year, and the housing post lasts five years.  

Assistant Town Clerk MaryLou Carney tested out Concord’s voting machines upstairs at the Town Housel last week. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

“Voting is one of the great privileges we each enjoy from living in a democracy,” said Diane Proctor of the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle.  

“When we exercise this right, it reflects our respect for the system and our commitment to sustaining it. It is all too easy to feel that ‘my vote doesn’t really matter,’ but many races around the state and the country have been decided by only a handful of votes.” 

Know where to go 

Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Concord has five voting precincts.  

  • Voters in Precinct 1 cast ballots at the Department of Land Planning and Management, 141 Keyes Road.  
  • Voters in Precincts 2 and 3 head to the Harvey Wheeler Community Center at 1276 Main Street. 
  • Voters in Precincts 4 and 5 report to the Hunt Recreation Center at 90 Stow Street. 

Unsure of your precinct? Visit to enter your street address. 

Want to be extra prepared to vote? View the sample ballot for Tuesday’s election here

New voter? Bring identification. 

On check-in, “First-time voters in Massachusetts who registered to vote by mail will be asked to show I.D.,” Tari said, such as a driver’s license or another document with their name and the address at which they’re registered. 

Ann Fortier was among those sorting through Concord’s early voting ballots. Photo by Laurie O’Neill

Dress for democracy  

Thinking of going to the polls in a snazzy shirt promoting your favorite candidate? 

Think twice.  

According to the Secretary of State, election officials must enforce the “150-foot rule,” which since 2022 has banned certain activities near polling places and early voting sites. 

Forbidden activities include:  

  • Holding signs or wearing items such as t-shirts, hats, buttons, and stickers with a candidate’s name, slogan, photo, or policy proposal (or the name of a political party). 
  • Candidates on the ballot shaking hands or greeting voters.  
  • Asking people to vote a particular way.  
  • Handing out stickers for write-in campaigns. 
  • Soliciting signatures for any petition — whether related to the current election or not.  
  • Hindering or delaying a voter on their way into the poll site or asking them how they’ve voted before they submit their ballot. 

These activities, however, are ok within 150 feet of a voting location:  

  • Exit polling.  
  • Campaigning for a candidate or issue not on the ballot at the poll site.  
  • Holding a sign or wearing politics-themed items that aren’t intended to help or hurt anyone or anything on the ballot.  
Voting machine tests — and the real thing — feature readout tapes. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

Voting by mail? 

Vote by mail ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.  

“On Election Day, voters should know that if we have already received their ballot, they have completed the voting process,” said Town Clerk Kaari Mai Tari in an email.  

“If a voter never received their ballot or has not returned their ballot and wishes to vote in person, they may do so,” she added.  

However, “they should be prepared to wait while the Election Warden calls the Town Clerk’s office to verify that we have not received their early/absentee ballot. This is to ensure that only one ballot per voter is tallied.”