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Kristin Kassner Sworn in as 2nd Essex Representative on February 3, 2023

February 10, 2023

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The Special Committee of the House to Examine the Returns of the Votes for Representative in the Several Representative Districts of the Commonwealth Relative to the Second Essex District released their report on January 31, 2023, and the House voted to accept the report on February 1st. Kristin Kassner was sworn in as the Representative of the Second Essex District on February 3rd.

We congratulate Representative Kristin Kassner and thank Representative Leonard Mirra for his service to his district, of which Topsfield was not previously a part.

The 451-page document, including all supporting evidence, and the votes by the House can be accessed here. The Committee considered the candidates and the voters in rendering its final decision. "We the People" prevailed. The Massachusetts State House Representatives realized they could not overrule the voters, no matter how slim the margin.

The Topsfield DTC reiterates its position that process matters as much as outcome. Election integrity starts with our vote, and our obligation to make our selections clear so that our votes are counted. Our election officials have clear and consistent rules by which they impartially and completely count all votes in which the intent of the voter is clear.

The district-wide hand recount was initiated and conducted in accordance with procedures established by state law, court decisions and customs developed from practical experience. Mr. Mirra testified that he wanted it understood that the election was not stolen, and there was no conspiracy involved (page 418). However, after the Majority issued their report, Mr. Mirra was quoted in the press and social media as describing the Committee's refusal to review the contested ballots blatantly partisan and corrupt. His comments perpetuate any public suspicion about the integrity of the process. Mr. Mirra cannot have it both ways.

The Majority Report's Findings and Conclusions (page 8 of 451) highlight the need for continued close review and updates of the current regulations, training, policies, and practices of elections. We agree, and our Town Clerks and Boards of Registrars must have the resources to account for every ballot.

A one vote margin need not be treated with suspicion, but rather affirmation that EVERY VOTE COUNTS.

2nd Essex Representative Swearing In to MA House of Representatives Delayed

January 9, 2023

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Redistricting divided Topsfield into two State Rep districts, and on January 4, 2023, we congratulated Sally Kerans as Precinct 2's Representative in the 13th Essex District. We await Kristin Kassner's swearing in as Precinct 1's Representative in the 2nd Essex District.

Rep. Kassner's election did not end on November 8, 2022. Her election serves as a reminder of the importance of every vote. It serves to remind us of our obligation to make our selections clear so that our vote is counted. Election integrity starts with us, the impartiality of our election officials, a paper trail, and, when warranted, a legal process by which election results may be contested.

The Topsfield Democratic Town Committee has been following the post-election process. After the close of polls on November 8, the unofficial vote count in the 2nd Essex communities of Georgetown, Hamilton, Ipswich, Newbury, Rowley, and Topsfield Precinct 1, gave Republican challenger Lenny Mirra the lead by 99 votes. Ballots postmarked by November 8 narrowed Mirra's lead to 10 votes on November 15. Kassner petitioned for a district-wide hand recount, which was completed the week of December 5-8.

A hand recount was conducted by local election officials and witnessed by volunteers and legal counsel from both campaigns. Each ballot was reviewed to discern the intent of the voter. Each candidate's team had the right to challenge the Board of Registrar's final determination on specific ballots. These ballots were set aside for a formal Court challenge. The recount identified Kristin Kassner's election by one vote. The recount was certified on December 14.

Lenny Mirra filed a challenge in Superior Court on December 21. His complaint was dismissed on December 29, and he filed an appeal on December 30, 2022. All documents are available on On January 3, 2023, the Appellate Court denied Mirra's motion for injunctive relief (, as did the Supreme Judicial Court on January 4, 2023 (

At the Inaugural Session of the 193rd House of Representatives on January 4, House Speaker Mariano announced the appointment of a Special Committee to Examine the Returns, and delayed swearing in Representative-Elect Kassner. The three-member Special Committee recommended that Lenny Mirra remain a "holdover" representative until the Special Committee performs it review and issues its report. The Special Committee will hold a public hearing on January 13 at 10 AM and have invited the candidates and their legal counsel to appear to offer testimony and to answer questions from its members.

Process matters as much as outcome. We hope for an expeditious review, so that the communities in the 2nd Essex are represented in the State House by their duly elected representative. Our representative's oath assures that they will make every effort to listen to, and represent, the needs of all their constituents, regardless of party affiliation. We wish them well.

Topsfield Obtains New Voting Machines

November 1, 2022

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The Town Clerk's office received three, state of the art, voting machines this year. They still take paper ballots as before, but work faster. The machines give the voter more control as the ballot is inserted, if needed. The machines will alert the voter to obvious marking format mistakes, and offer to return the ballot for corrections.

On Halloween, members of the Topsfield Democratic Town Committee and Topsfield Republican Town Committee both witnessed the full testing of the machines. It turned out not to be scary at all! All present were quite satisfied that these machines work accurately.

One machine will be used for Topsfield Precinct 1, and another for Topsfield Precinct 2. The third is for a spare. All have battery back up power included for further integrity and safety.

What Redistricting will mean for Topsfield Representation in 2022 Midterm Elections

October 28, 2022

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Topsfield is now divided into two PRECINCTS by street address. The Map can be found here. You can also confirm your precinct here.

    The PRECINCT map determines our DISTRICT for State Representative:
    -- PRECINCT 1 will be represented in the SECOND ESSEX DISTRICT.
    -- PRECINCT 2 will be represented in the THIRTEENTH ESSEX DISTRICT.

Our current State Representative, Jamie Belsito, is not running for re-election.

A sample ballot will identify the candidates running in your district and is available on the Topsfield Town Clerk's webpage.

The last day to REGISTER to Vote in the November 8, 2022 election is October 29 - Online voter registration available at the MA Secretary of State website.

Polling location for both precincts will remain at St. Rose Church Hall.

Click here for links to all the Democratic candidates' websites.

Topsfield Democratic Town Committee on the January 6th Congressional Hearings

July 19, 2022

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Fellow voters, your Topsfield Democratic Town Committee fully supports the work of the US House of Representatives January 6th Committee. We feel the work of democracy requires a full, dispassionate, and truthful investigation of the violent efforts to delay the peaceful transfer of Federal Executive powers to a duly elected President. We encourage all citizens to make their voices heard at the ballot box this November.

Topsfield Elections Information Night Webinar

June 12, 2021

A recording of the Topsfield Elections Information Night webinar is now available.

Download the presentation (PDF)

Do you live in a political bubble?

May 6, 2021

An interesting article from the New York Times:

Republicans and Democrats are increasingly alienated from one another, rhetorically and geographically. Measure your own political isolation with this tool from The New York Times's Opinion section.

The Ipswich River: A Local Treasure at Risk

April 14, 2021

John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate reminds us that change starts at the local level.

Learn what you can do to help save our river!

Is it time to end the filibuster?

March 19, 2021

Debate is good for our democracy. But can Senators discipline themselves to change the filibuster to encourage reasonable debate?
EXPLAINER: What's the Senate filibuster and why change it? by Lisa Mascaro, Associated Press.

A statement from the Topsfield Democratic Town Committee

January 7, 2021

On January 3, 2021, members of the 117th Congress took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic. On January 6, 2021, enemies of the peaceful transfer of power, incited by the President and his enablers, violently disrupted the business of government on behalf of one man. The insurrection by a mob was reinforced by a wayward wing of the Republican party, who attempted to use its power to legitimize the President's claims of a stolen election.

When the Senate reconvened at 8PM, we witnessed bipartisanship as it could and should be – a reflection on the fragility of our Republic, and our obligation to defend it. The acceptance of the incoming Biden-Harris administration, early in the morning of January 7, 2021, illustrated swift corrective actions by a non-partisan majority of the 117th Congress. This is only the first such corrective action needed by this new Congress.

The January 5th Georgia runoff also means a peaceful transfer of power to a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. We expect the Democratic majority to use its power responsibly and in the service of the advancement of justice.

Further Reading:

The definition of insurrection

A sorry spectacle we all knew was coming - What did they think was going to happen?
by Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist, January 6, 2021, 7:38 p.m.

A Statement from The Lincoln Project

Trump's Reckoning, and America's - Letter from Trump's Washington
by Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, January 7, 2021

What If Neither Political Party Controlled the Senate?

December 11, 2020

The Georgia runoff election has gained national attention because it will determine the political party that will control the Senate. Ultimately, Georgians will elect their Senators, but What If Neither Political Party Controlled the Senate? Our own Vice Chair, Joel Hariton, contributed to this piece, written by his college friend, Fred Unger. With the Senate so evenly divided, perhaps this is the moment to attempt a change like Fred suggests.

Important Dates

May 2, 2023
Town Meeting

May 4, 2023
Town Election

2023 Town Election Calendar

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