Town moderator impeded voting

To the Editor:

I consider the right to vote an honor, privilege and duty and I consider any infringement of my ability to vote for who I want an outrage. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Bedford High School I was denied that right because of two specific factual events.

As an undeclared voter, I had the right to choose a ballot for the party of my choice and the town moderator has a responsibility to ensure it happens within the laws of the state.

I was denied that privilege because the voting list stated I was a Republican voter. My concern about my status caused the checker to refer me to the Town Moderator Brian Shaughnessy. He appeared to have little interest and referred me to the voter list book to see how I was listed and told me I could change my status Feb. 10. Because Mr. Shaughnessy doesn’t know his job, I was denied my true choice in an election. I would suggest that Mr. Shaughnessy resign his office if he can’t take every voter’s concerns seriously and more importantly, know the rules he should follow as moderator. If I had been referred to the supervisor of the voting list who was on the premise, it would have been verified I was undeclared which would have allowed me to vote as such.

We do have others in elected office who do know their jobs and take voter rights seriously. Town Clerk Lori Radke investigated it and introduced me to the supervisor of the checklist who found they had made a mistake. I was in fact undeclared which was recorded signed and dated by me.

Obviously mistakes are made on the checklist but how many and how often? Equally obvious is the fact a town moderator is obligated to do what he or she can to make it possible for voters to vote for who they want by following the law and by following procedures. This isn’t a learning curve instance; it is a basic knowledge of knowing what to do and should have been known on day one of his taking office. I am deeply offended by Mr. Shaughnessy’s apparent incompetence and not pleased that the checklist wasn’t more accurate.

Voters in Bedford deserve better than this and our standards should be higher.

Joseph L. O’Rourke III