As voter registrars for the town of East Longmeadow, we want to thank each of the over 500 voters who took 10 minutes out of their busy day to come to Birchland Park and make your voice heard at our town election last Tuesday. As for the remaining 10,000 of you who are registered to vote but did not, we are frankly very puzzled.
It’s not like the weather was a hindrance; most of the day was sunny and pleasant. It’s not like waiting was a hardship; most voters made it from portal to portal in less than 10 minutes. It’s not like notice was not given; there were signs all around town as usual, a robo-call the night before, a letter in The Reminder from a candidate. It’s not like there were no important issues on the ballot; while many of the races were uncontested, the formation of a Charter Commission for the town was significant. That decision was made for you – without your input or consent – by just over 500 citizens.
Around the world in many countries people are still denied the right to vote, or they are fighting and dying for it. Here we don’t seem to share their enthusiasm, and many of us – 95 percent of us this time – looked at it as a chore to ignore. We registrars in town do our best to sign up new voters as they turn 18 and help keep the voting lists updated so everyone can make his or her voice heard. Won’t you please make a mental note to regularly participate in this rare privilege we have? You could commit yourself by starting with the annual Town Meeting on May 18 at 7 p.m. at the High School. Let’s fill the place with educated, informed, and involved voters.
Bill Caplin and Pat Henry
Board of Registrars