Apr 292013

Tuesday’s election is already unique in that it is a combined special primary for a US Senate seat and a Groton town election. Adding to the interest is that the town election sports two write-in campaigns.

Ken Bushnell is running for a vacant seat on the Park Commission for which no one filed nominating papers. And Deirdre Slavin-Mitchell is running for a vacancy on the Groton Housing Authority to fill a seat that opened after the deadline passed for passing petitions.

Ken Bushnell — Park Commission

In an email appeal, Bushnell wrote:

Dear Groton Voters,
I would like to make everyone aware that I am running a write-in campaign for a seat on the Park Commission. The Park Commission oversees a majority of the youth playing fields in town and will involved in Ledge Rock Project. As a baseball and football coach, I feel there is a need for representation for all youth sports programs in town. With my professional background, I feel I can strongly influence the future of our playing fields and parks.

On the ballot, there is a section to write a name. I would kindly ask for one of your two available votes for Park Commission.

Thank you for your consideration,
Ken Bushnell

Deirdre Slavin-Mitchell — Groton Housing Authority

Slavin-Mitchell wrote in a similar email:

Hi All,

Election Day is April 30th. I am running as a write in candidate for The Groton Housing Authority. One of the members of the board (Ron Peck) resigned after nomination papers needed to be turned in, so my name is not on the ballot. If you are inclined to vote for me please follow the instructions below. It is important that my name is next to the Groton Housing Authority Position and that the arrow is filled in otherwise, your vote will not count.

The GHA is the primary provider of low-income and affordable rental housing in Groton. They are a state-chartered agency managed by a locally-elected volunteer five-member Board of Commissioners and a paid Executive Director. The GHA currently has 20 elderly apartments and 5 family units at Petapawag Place (across from First Parish Church). They also have 12 other family units in various locations throughout Groton, including 9 units on Sandy Pond Road (near Shaw’s Supermarket). In addition, they are currently working to develop a property on Nashua Road to provide at least 6 more affordable family units.

Thank you,
Deirdre Slavin Mitchell

She explained her interest in joining the Housing Authority as an extension of her career as a public health administrator.

“I’ve been thinking about getting more involved in town for some time, but I have two kids in high school, so balancing my time is important. And this came up. I attended a (Housing Authority) meeting, liked the people and the way they interacted. I think housing is finally important to families and children, and the community. What’s really important at this time is that with the housing bubble burting, a lot of the affordable housing in the marketplace has evaporated. There are very few options available for people, and it’s important to keep families in Groton,” she said.

How To Vote For a Write In Candidate

If you’re like many voters, you may never have written in a candidate. In Massachusetts, for your vote to count, you need to do two things:

  1. The candidate’s name must must be clearly written in the appropriate office in the ballot. Ken Bushnell in the Park Commission write in box and Slavin-Mitchell in the Groton Housing Authority space.
  2. The line that connects the two pieces of the broken arrow must be completed.