Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,
“Well I hope that everyone will be on high alert to ensure there is no voter fraud in the upcoming elections.
Those who show up without proper verification or an updated ID– valid passport and or drivers license to challenge an unverified change of address should be turned away.
In 2004, our former State Representative Vinny Ciampa did not lose by many votes, only a few hundred as I recall.
Prior to the election, there was talk about neo-liberal transients moving into town due to the demands from special interests to secure housing– just in time to cast their vote.
I was volunteering at the polls, specifically the Teele Square fire station until late into the night, to report back to our rep on the final count.
The experience was both surprising and upsetting to me since the race was highly contentious.
I never saw such a display of outright mobbing by the volunteers of the opponent.
As I recall, the out-of-town volunteers of the challenger were aggressive at this location. It was the neighborhood shared by the incumbent and myself. The incident took place across the street from the polling station.
The incumbents team of disrupters were pushing and shoving us away from pedestrians while we were trying to distribute flyers for the incumbent.
Multiple altercations prompted immediate dispatch of Somerville Police who were on the scene within minutes.
The episode resulted in their monitoring the polling site, pedestrians, voters and volunteers of the incumbent to ensure everyone’s safety.
This experience made me think about how much work goes into running a campaign and the events that lead up to voting day.
I believe there should be a rule about voting in the town where you are only residing 1-4 years, while in college or starting your new job/professional gig.
How do college students know the candidates views on policies for a city of thousands of residents from all walks of life?
It appears to be campaign’s based on what Tufts wants –not what the city at large needs.
College students and young professionals don’t pay real estate taxes and are not involved with city issues. Yes, they contribute in rents but no one thinks about the costs of maintaining the apartments. They spend money on bars, but what are those overall costs to the results of alcoholism and fatalities, property damage and other types of criminal behavior. It’s like the parents just find a new day care center and enlist an entire city to be babysitters.
For the most part, the city as it stands today is more focused on satisfying the entertainment, transportation, and selective housing demands of the student population, then caring for basic needs to all equally.
The out of control expense and contributing problems lie solely on the lower working class renters, home and business owners of our 4 mile long city.
Let me make this clear– I’m not bashing all college students and professionals. Some are from working class families around the country like our own– they just need a temporary spot to call home, until graduation. Working in two major colleges, I supported and supervised. Others have rented from me. It’s important to screen thoroughly in order to avoid problems.
But my comments about the entitled princes’ and princesses’ cannot be dismissed. There have been hundreds of complaints about reckless cyclists who ride due to revoked licenses, loud all night drinking parties, hardline bargaining tactics and outright harassment of working class landlords who provide adequate housing.
Yet, somehow the young entitled millennial interprets the relationship much differently– instead you are met with an 18-25 year old suffering from delusions of grandeur a kin to Hollywood stardom– demands of a five star hotel and a luxury co-op in little ole’Somerville.
Who do we blame for this daily onslaught on the senses and true overall madness?
Never mind, we already know the answer.
The only thing the enticed crowd care about is their free stuff we the taxpayers supply– honk, beer, porch festivals, getting overpaid jobs at city hall, driving their own agendas and after they get what they want, they’re long gone with college and professional resume in tow.
I’ve personally witnessed newcomers showing up at the polls in my Ward 7, to debate with the officer on duty regarding their residential status and accuracy of address.
In each case, they were allowed to vote with the promise to go to city hall and correct their address.
There were too many showing up claiming the same issue and I don’t buy it.
I hope there are going to be enough hands on deck at this election who will not allow this to continue.
If you cannot provide a valid address, you should be forced to leave the premises.
The incident and names of the rebel-rousers should be documented so that the voting agencies who oversee these processes are made aware.
In hindsight, I wished I had done more to expose the suspicions I had on voter fraud during the 2004 campaign and others that followed.
But if the police offer on duty clears the voters — what can be done?
Be on the lookout and report anything that appears out of the ordinary.
A Concerned City Resident