Nagging you to vote today

by beth on November 7, 2017

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I’m going to keep this post “stuck” to the top of the home page today as a reminder to vote by 8:00 pm tonight at Trottier.

Scroll down for newer stories. For details on today’s election, see my post from yesterday.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 resident November 7, 2017 at 2:48 PM

I went to vote, and did. However, I have to say it is a little intimidating that all the candidates and supporters are surrounding the entrance walkway to where the voting is taking place. I understand they are within the boundaries but because of how the location is set up, you have to go by them. I will say I did not like that, and I think it would deter me in the future if I didn’t feel strongly about what was being voted on. JMO

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2 beth November 7, 2017 at 3:23 PM

I understand what you’re saying. Because of the setup of the walkway to the entrance you have to walk by them.

But, all are friendly and I never heard anyone even asking for a vote or asking how anyone voted. People were just smiling and showing support. So, I don’t think there is any reason to feel intimidated. Especially since multiple campaigns were there.

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3 Louise Barron November 7, 2017 at 7:04 PM

Complain, complain “resident” No one is bothering you while you walk into the polls. Be happy that there is positive involvement in the process of voting. Next time take out an absentee ballot, and avoid humans..

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4 JMO November 7, 2017 at 8:37 PM

There’s no reason to be mean. Resident was not complaining, just expressing a viewpoint. And, to take out an absentee ballot, I believe you have to make a good faith promise that you can’t get to the polls because you will not be in town during voting hours. Resident has a point that the boundaries were awfully close. I don’t know who sets the boundary rules, but it would not hurt to open up the entrance another 10 yards or so. I didn’t find the supporters intimidating, just awkward. I found myself just looking down and not making eye contact with anyone. If the close boundaries cause some people not to vote then maybe the boundaries should be moved out a bit.

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5 Southborough Town Clerk November 8, 2017 at 6:50 PM

JMO,

The 150 foot No Campaign boundary limit is set by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 54, Section 65, which includes the words “…within one hundred and fifty feet from the building entrance door to a polling place.”

I called the Secretary of State’s Election Divison to discuss the specifics of the Trottier configuration to see if I could start the 150 foot line from the end of the walkway to the Trottier gym because there are metals gates there which might be interpreted as the entrance rather than the doors.

The Secretary of State’s Election Divison said that we had no choice but to measure the distance from the doors themselves. So I took out a tape measure and learned that it is 130 feet from the gym doors to the edge of the sidewalk, then I marked off 20 feet to the right and left. That’s how we determined the placement of the markers.

Jim Hegarty
Southborough Town Clerk

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6 Alan November 8, 2017 at 9:25 PM

Jim,
Can we change the entrance.

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7 Southborough Town Clerk November 12, 2017 at 10:27 AM

Alan,

We can’t change the entrance. The only alternative would be for people to come in through the school’s front door and then navigate a long way through the school, while school is in session, and walk all the way to the gym which would create a logistical nightmare and an unsafe situation inside the schools.

Jim Hegarty
Southborough Town Clerk
(508) 485-0710 x 3007

8 Southborough Town Clerk November 12, 2017 at 2:04 PM

JMO and Alan,

I want to follow up on my earlier posts to let you know that we will be evaluating all aspects of the consolidated voting at Trottier. We can always work to improve our processes.

One issue that I will definitely look into is the voters’ experience walking past/through the supporters holding signs. Some people have suggested that the placement of tents by two candidates contributed to an inadvertent ‘roadblock’ of sorts on the sidewalk. Some voters walking on the sidewalk had to approach these supporters from behind and it made it awkward for the voters to pass by.

On the Friday before the election, Chief Paulhus, Principal Lavoie and I walked the area to try to identify all possible issues. I’ll go over these issues with the Chief and Principal now that we have some feedback and results.

If you or any other resident would like to speak with me directly and give me your thoughts on this issue, feel free to call me or email me. I’d like to hear from you.

Thank you.

Jim Hegarty
Southborough Town Clerk
(508) 485-0710 x 3007
jhegarty@southboroughma.com

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9 Alan November 12, 2017 at 2:58 PM

Thanks for the follow up Jim.

10 Resident November 7, 2017 at 10:04 PM

Wow! It really is too bad you have such an awful attitude. I am entitled to an opinion, and yes, it could be different from yours. Put on your big girl pants and see that not everybody thinks like you. Thank God!

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11 Jane Smith November 7, 2017 at 8:31 PM

I would not let much deter me from voting, but I understand what ‘resident’ was saying. I actually think voters should not have to wend their way through a crowd of candidates and their supporters on the sidewalk to get to the polls. I stopped and chatted with my candidate of choice and, as always, enjoyed the social aspects of voting. But ‘resident’s’ concerns should not be belittled. We certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from exercising their constitutional right.

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12 Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 7:19 AM

I want to thank you for the hard work you put into maintaining this site, and sharing important town news. Being able to come here to read all the candidate’s statements helped me make an informed decision last night in casting my vote for Selectman, and made me really put the effort into going out to vote. All the information you share here is helpful, but this political information — which doesn’t seem to be available elsewhere — is critically important. Thanks!

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13 Kelly Roney November 11, 2017 at 2:15 PM

I have to say I’m having a hard time understanding Resident and JMO’s feelings of intimidation and awkwardness in the face of friendly and smiling sign-holders at the polls. We all have the secret ballot. How is that not enough?

Then again, I grew up in the South a liberal on racial integration and equal rights for all, and I was vocal about my distinctly unpopular opinions by age 12, maybe earlier. That may be why I have a hard time understanding that adults in a far less emotionally charged atmosphere get bad feelings from smiles and waves.

Of course, I’ve many times held signs at the polls, so I’m part of the “problem.”

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