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Some Town Meeting Ballots Mailed to the Wrong Voters

by Ken Signorello

February 15, 2022

The Essex Retorter has received several reports of mailed ballot envelopes with names that don’t match their preprinted contents.


On one street with 16 houses, four outside envelopes were addressed to a different person than the inner, preprinted voted ballot envelope. In one case two people in the same household were involved in a three-way switch with a neighbor. In another case the named voter lives in a neighborhood across town.


As of Tuesday, February 15th at 4 pm, Town Clerk Susan McNamara had received one phone call from a voter reporting this problem. She advises voters to check that the preprinted name on the voted ballot envelope is yours. If it’s not, cross out that name, print your own and then sign as you normally would. Also, including your return address and voting district on the return envelope will assist poll workers.


If the person receiving the ballot is not observant and signs someone else’s voted ballot envelope, its fate will depend on the legibility of the signature and the efforts of the poll worker who marks off that voter on the checklist. 


In the case of discrepancies, the ballot may be held for curing. Curing is the ability of voters, once notified, to redo an otherwise unclear or incomplete ballot after it’s flagged as such by vote counters.


If the signature cannot be read and the person who actually voted cannot be determined, that ballot may not be counted.


Anyone who has already voted may verify the status of their ballot at:


Anyone who has received another voter’s ballot, please let us know at and also contact the Town Clerk at or 802 879 0413. This is an evolving story.

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