Saturday, June 11, 2011
Breaking News: The Latest Snafu At The Southbridge Town Clerk's Office
The next Southbridge town election is scheduled for June 28.
As a result, absentee ballots have been mailed out to those who have requested them.
Presumably, this means that official ballots for use at polling places have also been printed or are in the process of being printed (though this has yet to be confirmed).
Therefore, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that the ballots that have been issued have a serious error.
In the race for Southbridge School Committee there are four candidates. They are incumbents Tanja Dominko, Thomas E. O'Leary and Patricia Woodruff along with newcomer Tammy M. Twomey.
Of these four candidates, three are supposed to be elected to fill vacancies that will exist on the Committee.
However, the ballots that have gone out, and submitted to the Office of the Massachusetts Secretary of State, contain the following instruction regarding the School Committee race:
Vote for no more than two.
That line should read, Vote for no more than three!
The possible consequences?
Having to incur the costs of reprinting all these ballots;
Having to re-mail all of the absentee ballots;
Having to deal with absentee ballots submitted prior to any corrections;
The potential for having the School Committee election judged invalid if the fourth position differs from the third by a number less than the number of erroneous ballots submitted.
We'll be waiting to see how this issue evolves and how it is dealt with.