My Secret Blank Ballot.

Today, citizens in Shrewsbury are voting on passage of a “Debt Exclusion” for the purposes of constructing a new Middle School.  As many voters in many towns have already experienced, building a new school was a more fiscally sound idea than repairing the old one by sticking it to the citizens from other other 350 towns via matching funds from the state.  If something is worth only 80 cents on the dollar, but costs you 60 cents on the dollar, you are likely going to buy it.  On the other hand, I am definitely opposed to raising taxes on anyone during a recession and oppose the underlying state law to begin with for the same reason.  Wicked Local Coverage:…

When I voted this morning I made the conscious decision to cast a blank ballot.  Many good people in Shrewsbury are more active, involved and knowledgeable of our municipal government than I am.  I actively deferred to their good judgment by doing the equivalent of voting “present” or abstaining.  This was the only item on the ballot.

When I cast my blank ballot into the electronic reader/ballot box it beeped twice and spit my ballot out.  I attempted to cast my ballot a second time.  Once again, the ballot box beeped twice and spit my ballot out.

One of the good people working the polls asked me to check my ballot to make sure it was marked as I wanted.  I explained to her that I was intentionally casting a blank ballot and believed the machine was not reading this as an error.  She politely understood and pressed a button on the back of the machine to allow it to accept my ballot.  After a brief conversation with the people working there, I left.

In hindsight, I wondered:

TOPIC #1:  Did my act of casting a blank ballot cause me to lose my secret ballot?


  • I had disclosed my voting intent without being asked.
  • I wasn't trying to keep my voting intent a secret.
  • Had I voted a different way, the initial problem would have never occurred.
  • Had I not disclosed my intent, I do not know what further steps would have occurred nor how it would be resolved.

Either way I certainly don’t feel like a victim here.  This is more of an intellectual exercise.

TOPIC #2:  Actively casting a blank ballot.  Good?  Bad?  Stupid?  Crazy?

TOPIC #3:  Matching funds from the State.  Good?  Bad?  Irrational?  Newton North?

TOPIC #4:  The question itself an building a new school.  Yes?  No?  Depends?

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About Mike "DD4RP" Rossettie