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Explaining the vote

Date: 6/21/2010

As a Longmeadow Registrar of Voters, I am writing to explain the tally in the June 8 town election as reported in last week's Reminder re: "High school galvanized an otherwise apathetic electorate" , June 14. The Reminder states that 2,546 voters did not vote for any member of the Select Board, implying that voters were not engaged in candidate choice.

Voters were entitled to choose two Select Board candidates, so an individual who failed to vote for any Select Board was counted as two in the non-voting number. But that's only half of the story. It is a tradition for a strong supporter of a single candidate to leave the second choice blank. Those who voted for a single candidate contributed only one to the 2,546 count.

The maximum number of non-voting residents is only half of the number of blanks, and it is much more likely that the tally reflects bullet voting by advocates.

There are many words that can describe voters in the recent Longmeadow election. But apathetic is not one of them.

Sandra J. Metz


Editor's Note: The information on the number of blanks registered on ballots cast in the recent Longmeadow election, along with the verified tallies for all votes cast in that election, was provided to Reminder Publications by Assistant Town Clerk Jackie Sullivan.