Don’t be an “I” – stay registered and VOTE!
By Edith Morgan
So, you are registered, you voted recently, and have not moved. But how do we know you are still there, and still alive?
A few days ago we all received a plain “billet doux” from the City of Worcester Election Commission, asking us to verify that we still live where we are registered, and to correct any errors or omissions on this paper.
I hope you did not toss it out, or misplace it or expect that your spouse or other family member filled it out.
From my many years of experience as Warden on election day, I know there is so little fraud at voting time that it is not worth the paranoia and suspicion that has been fomented in recent years – mostly to make voting more onerous, but not dealing with any REAL problems.
Btu every year, we find many voters who come to their polling places and find that they have an “I” by their name. They still get to vote, but have to complete a “voter certificate” – not a very difficult process, but a delay, and many voters are in a hurry (on their lunch hour, or with family at home,etc).
So , fill in the “Voter Registration Information System Validation” form and send it back in the self-addressed envelope. Surely keeping our election lists up-to-date is worth the 49 cent stamp needed – or take the envelope and deliver it in person to the Election Commission in person, at City Hall.
Then, save Tuesday, March 1 – and VOTE. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Since March 1st is a primary, there will be four ballots available: you can only take the ballot of the paqrty you belong to. There are Democratic (D), Republican(R), Grenn/Rainbow (J), and United Independent Party (CC) ballots. If you and Unenrolled (U), that is, have not designated any party, you can choose which ballot you want. Whatever ballot you choose, your party designation will not be changed.
I was surprised to learn that there are 24 additional parties listed, but they are not running candidates. However, if you are a member of any of these other parties, you can still vote, but only using one of the above mentioned four parties. (There will be a complete listing of these
at your poll, or at the election commission.)
It is always a good idea to have a picture “ID” with you, just in case there is problem. Also, if you have moved in the last few months, have “proof of residency” with you (that includes any of the following: current utility bill, bank statement, payroll statement, government check, or any other document that sows your name or address. Of course, your driver’s license or ID is acceptable) YOUR PASSPORT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, as it does not have an address.
All of us at each poll will do all we can to make your voting experience pleasant and quick. The new voting machines are a pleasure to use. And we in Massachusetts are fortunate to have a paper ballot, so we have a “paper trail” if there ever is any question about an election result.
We have done everything in our power to make our elections foolproof and honest – the rest is up to you, the voters.
The precious privilege of voting is well worth a little effort, is it not?