South Hadley voters head to the polls - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

South Hadley voters head to the polls

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(Image courtesy: MGN Online) (Image courtesy: MGN Online)

It's election day in South Hadley.  Residents are casting their votes for several town government seats, as well as a question surrounding the fate of recreational marijuana sales in town. 

There has been a steady stream of voters going to the polls at South Hadley High School.

For many, this is an important election for the town of South Hadley. 

"From town moderator, to select board, to school committee, this a hotly contested election," said Priscilla Manderachia, a poll volunteer.

The polls are open for South Hadley residents ready to voice their vote.

"This your vote and your vote counts and you have to make those decisions.  South Hadley is great voters and they always turn out.  You have to participate," said Sara Butler, Precinct A warden.

On the ballot, two of the five select board seats are up for election.  Two seats on the school committee are also up for grabs today.

"We have a responsibility to be involved. We have a responsibility to support our students," said Christine Phillips, who is running for school committee.

Western Mass News found the big talk in town surrounds the future of recreational marijuana in town. 

"I'm particularly against the distribution of marijuana," said Dr. Newton Bowdan.

This ballot question decides whether retail recreational marijuana shops in town would be allowed. 

It is a decision that many communities are debating after the new state retail marijuana laws were rolled out last year. 

"Pot is becoming a bigger problem than alcohol for our teens," said Kevin McAllister, who is running for school committee.

In a town meeting back in January, voters approved a ban on retail shops, but the ballot question would seal that decision. 

Regardless of which way voters lean on the issue, everyone agrees that it is simply important to get out there and vote!

"I'm a citizen, I fought for my right to vote," said Bill Lavelle of South Hadley.

The polls will remain open until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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