There are fewer lawn signs than usual this year – chalk it up to the relative lack of candidates – but that doesn’t mean you should skip the annual town election on May 18. There are two contested races for offices connected to crucial areas that tend to attract the most grumbling from people who remain on the sidelines – schools and the town’s growth trajectory.

Katherine Jackson, Vedna Heywood, Hunter Young, Bethany Rogers, and Ashley Shaw are running for three seats on the seven-member School Committee. Each seat is for a three-year term. With the school superintendent warning of layoffs and other budget cuts – and the teachers’ contract up for negotiation – school board members will be making decisions involving many millions of dollars.

Frank Mand and Tim Bennett are running for a single five-year term on the five-member Planning Board. The board plays an important role in what kind of development goes forward in town.

Voters on Saturday will also determine the makeup up of Plymouth’s elected Town Meeting legislature – three representatives for each of the 18 precincts. Precincts 2 and 4 have attracted the most candidates, five each. These are the people who vote yay or nay on how your tax dollars are spent.

In the election’s most surprising turn, David Golden is the lone candidate on the ballot for a seat on the five-member Select Board, although an informal write-in campaign for Community Preservation Committee chair Bill Keohan is underway.  

Also, Dennis Albert Sampson is running unopposed for a five-year term on the Housing Authority and Stephen Michael Palmer is running unopposed for re-election to a five-year term on the Redevelopment Authority, which he chairs.

The town clerk’s office is charged with tabulating votes in the May 18 town election. Credit: (Photo by Mark Pothier)

If you opted for a mail-in ballot, you have until 7 p.m. on Election Day to get it to Town Hall. Our advice: Don’t put it in the mail this close to voting day.

The cut off for early in-person voting is Wednesday, May 15. Voting hours – at Town Hall only are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Voting on May 18 will take place at all 18 precinct polling places across Plymouth. You can only vote in the precinct where you live. A list of precinct polling places is here. The town has posted an interactive map that is supposed to show which precinct you live in, but we’ve received multiple complaints about it not working, and that’s been our experience, too. If you’re uncertain of where to vote, you can always visit the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall, call it at 508-747-1620, ext. 10169, or email

A sample ballot can be viewed here.

Mark Pothier can be reached at

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