Getting Answers: A look at voter turnout after Domenic Sarno wins re-election bid

We discussed this data with history professor John Baick, who says voters have been paying more attention to politics in recent years.
Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 7:32 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -The people have spoken and Domenic Sarno will continue on as Mayor of Springfield following his victory over City Councilor Justin Hurst, whose campaign has been the subject of voter fraud allegations.

I’m humbled and honored I love this job I live it 24/7 and again I’m just very very happy to continue to move forward,” said Sarno.

“We feel extremely positive we were excited about the turnout, we know and we know all along this wasn’t going to be easy we were up against the establishment and were confident in the next four years that will happen,” said Justin Hurst.

Incumbent Mayor Domenic Sarno and candidate Justin Hurst speaking to Western Mass News after Tuesday’s election results, Sarno extending his time in City Hall by four more years.

Taking a look at voter data over 21 thousand ballots were cast, a larger turnout compared to recent years:


Domenic J Sarno - 12,077

Justin J Hurst - 8,945

Taking a look at past Mayoral match-ups in the city in 2015 and 2019, just over 15 thousand votes were cast when Mayor Sarno faced candidates Sal Circosta and Yolanda Cancel:

2007   Sarno/Charles Ryan - 21,121

2009   Sarno/Bud Williams - 21,571

2011   Sarno/Jose Tosado - 20,623

2015   Sarno/Sal Circosta - 15,751

2019   Sarno/Yolanda Cancel - 15,853

2023   Sarno/Justin Hurst - 21,338

The turnout reflects how interested people are in what’s going on that year in that race.

We discussed this data with history professor John Baick, who says voters have been paying more attention to politics in recent years, and voter turnout will again be large for next year’s presidential election.

“In 2016 voter turnout was okay there were definitely some groups that turned out that didn’t (before) but in 2020, voter turnout was massive and in 2022 voter turnout was massive,” said Baick.

He tells Western Mass News, that voters could also be enticed to vote based on issues candidates discuss, like gun violence in Springfield. or other factors, like candidate Hurst’s campaign being accused of paying for votes, as detailed in election worker affidavits and surveillance video now under review. although Baick thinks this hardly impacted the outcome.

“They were motivated they wanted to make sure their candidate won and some people turned out because of what they saw on the local news. That being said, I don’t think it changed the outcome, not in this race,” said Baick.

When Western Mass News spoke with candidate Hurst Wednesday, we also asked him if he had heard anything about the investigation into the accusations against him and his campaign.

“They will find nothing bring it on we’re ready for anything that you have,” said Hurst.

We reached out to the Hampden District Attorney’s office about the investigation, but they wouldn’t confirm or deny if there was one. We have also reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office contacted about the allegations but have not received a comment.