LETTER: Watertown Resident Shares His Experience Voting in the Town Election

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The following letter was written on Nov. 2, 2021.

Dear Friends,

Re: Voter Shock!

Today is Watertown Election Day, and as a civic minded individual, resident in the City known as the Town of Watertown, I did not linger in bed until my usual hour of 7:30 a.m., but rose to prepare to exercise my duty. I voted and believe that I have recovered sufficiently from my shock, that I may now share with you my experience.

Things you should know:

·         Watertown once included the towns of Weston, Waltham and large portions of Lincoln, Belmont, and Cambridge.

·         Today, it is only ca. 4 square miles in size and has a population of 35, 329, perhaps one of the most diverse in Greater Boston, and a mere 20 minutes from Boston’s Logan International Airport.

·         Because of the anxiety caused by the Big Lie of voter fraud, my blood pressure was highly elevated: 132/78!

·         I anticipated at the polling place assigned to me—there are many throughout the town—long lines and the  presence of members of the National Guard, State Troopers and Watertown’s PD, whose role would be to keep the peace. You see, there were 4 individuals vying for 3 seats on the town’s School Committee.  When I arrived no officer in uniform was to be seen. I learned subsequently, that the Watertown PD was managing a traffic snafu on the town’s major thoroughfare near the Watertown-Cambridge line.

·         To provide proof of my insignificant person, I went armed with my driver’s license, my Medicare ID, my vaccination card—fully vaccinated with Moderna, and the printout of my pending appointment for the booster shot on Monday, 8 November, at 2:45p.m., and my Minuteman Library Card, in case someone wanted to check for overdue books or delinquent fines. I felt this necessary, as I was wearing a mask, as was everyone else, whom I encountered. 

·         My shock: no lines whatsoever, no uniformed officers — just a pleasant group of women in the hallway who were selling assorted bake goods to raise money for some cause or other — no signature required, just my name and address; and an elderly woman of my generation who flirted with me, when I gave her my full name. “What a regal name,” said she!  She has my name and address!  I voted without further incident.

When after ca. 15 minutes I exited the attractive modern, pleasant Middle School, just up a bit from the town’s equally inviting Free Library outfitted with everything technical, meeting rooms at the disposal of individuals and groups in town, the sky displayed those fluffy white clouds in a bright blue sky, and I wondered whether I had had an experience in another dimension, and certainly not one described in our national media. Now my blood pressure will rise again, because I will fret that others cannot share a similar experience?

Clarence E. Butler
Watertown Resident

7 thoughts on “LETTER: Watertown Resident Shares His Experience Voting in the Town Election

  1. Clarence, Your letter made me laugh. It is worthy of a SNL skit and I say that with respect. And yes, I recognize we are lucky to live in an area where voting is simple, civil, and quickly completed. What truly disturbs me is that so few folks in our town do so. Thank you, Elodia

  2. Clarence,
    Thanks for your delightful take on our Election Day! This was uplifting and amusing and indicative of the democratic process in the “city” we know and love. Thanks too to all who had the conviction and endurance to run, win or lose. Congratulations to all!

  3. I voted at the Hibernian Hall located on Watertown Street, near a Stop & Shop. While voting I noticed how empty the room was. I spoke with the officer on duty inquiring if they had a good turn out. He said it was very slow all day. How sad that more people did not vote. I would have hoped more homeowners and Watertown residents would want to have their voices and tax dollars heard.

  4. maybe a lot of people voted by mail-in ballot – I know I did. But just because I had a lot to do today and didn’t need one more thing on my “to do” list. For me it was just more convenient to be done with it ahead of time. Why not?

    • I voted by mail in also! Much easier given working that day. I wonder if we could find out the % of mail in/absentee ballots given there was actually more voters this year than usual(24%)..still low IMO out of a registered 25K voters!

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