By William Tauro
With the Somerville primary election behind us and as we await the general election in November, we have received multiple phone calls regarding some pretty questionable election situations.
One resident of Somerville recently voted in Tuesday’s preliminary election at the Ward 4 precinct. As this voter voted and handed the ballot face down to the election worker to run through the election machine as she proceeded to do so, the election worker immediately shouted out “Hey Lady, you just voted blank!” So now obviously everybody in the room knows who she is and how she voted.
In surprised frustration the female voter asked the election worker “How did you know how I voted?” The election worker abruptly shouted out and replied “Because it shows up on the outside of the machine that’s how we know!”
Another situation that we heard about from multiple residents who voted on primary day is that many who went to vote ran into the same situation at the poles.
Voters told us as they were asked their names upon entering the voting location, many voters were told by the election workers “Your name is inactive and not on the list!”
Then the election worker would say to them “Well maybe you haven’t voted recently or maybe you didn’t fill out your census?” Then the voters were told that “They must be on the yellow pages and be directed to go see the ward election warden.” The election warden would then ask for your ID and hand you a ballot after he checks your name off again.
In my honest opinion, whatever yellow pages are and whoever the ward election warden is sounds to me just like another political stall tactic to discourage a voter from coming out to vote.
Another classic Somerville last minute voting tactical scheme is the old switching around and swapping of the voting poll locations at the last minute. This is actually one of the most familiar political schemes that Somerville campaign thugs have always pulled every two years to confuse the voters, especially to our seniors. This scheme is also used on community meetings to discourage people from coming out and voicing their opinions.
The most newest tactical scam that has been around for the past two years since Assembly Row has been built is that only the mayor’s campaign piece literature is allowed to be distributed in Assembly Row buildings. This seems to be just another unfair political tactic to give the mayor the upper edge over the other candidates who aren’t allowed to enter the buildings.
How many of you remember the last election cycle’s last minute mysterious shuttle-bus sudden breakdown? The Clarendon Hill Towers shuttle-bus was alleged deemed out of service at the very last minute on that rainy election night making it impossible for the seniors in the building to travel to vote.
What made it even more challenging to the seniors was that the new polling location where they had to vote was suddenly moved across the city many blocks away.
A good majority of the seniors we’re just to disgusted with the last minute changes and hassle to travel in the rain across the city to vote so they didn’t. Again this is just another political tactic to discourage the voters not to cast their ballot.
If you have a similar election story that you would like to share with us please give me a call so we can let the people of Somerville know what to expect this time around.
But then again this is Somerville, should we be surprised?