NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 16, 2012

It's important for everyone to vote

To the editor:

As a volunteer in the primary election campaign of Kathleen O’Connor Ives for state Senate, I spoke with many people throughout the First Essex District. I was delighted to encounter many conscientious voters who were interested in learning more about the election and candidates.

I was also dismayed to hear from others who were so disgusted with politics that they weren’t sure they’d vote at all, or who had moved and had not yet registered to vote in their new locations, or who doubted they’d be able to vote on election day.

For those who are not sure they’ll be voting on Nov. 6: Please take heart and join in the democratic process that keeps our state and country strong. If you’re disgusted by politics, consider that your support of an honest, thoughtful, qualified candidate is one step you can take to improve the situation. I’m voting for Katy Ives and hope you’ll join me. You can learn more about her at www.voteforives.com.

If you aren’t registered to vote for the Nov. 6 election, go to http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleclk/clkidx.htm, where you can print out an application and find the address to send the application to your town or city clerk. I think you’ll see that it’s not very complicated.

If you’ll be absent from your city or town on election day or if you have a disability that prevents you from going to the polls, you can request an absentee ballot by mail, via an application you can find at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howabs.htm. You can also vote early, in person, in your city or town clerk’s office, if you will be away on election day. Here’s advice from the Massachusetts secretary of state: “If you cast your ballot at the clerk’s office before election day, plan to visit the office two or three weeks before the election. You can make your application and cast your vote in one visit. Call the clerk’s office to make certain that the absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots should be available three weeks before an election.” So, check with your city or town clerk.

Then please join other voters of the district in sizing up the candidates. It takes tremendous courage and perseverance to run for state Senate. These candidates have offered to serve us. Let’s give our attention to choosing the person we think best for the task.

Mary Harbaugh

Newburyport

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