, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

November 4, 2012

Essex woman frozen out from voting

ESSEX — Last Thursday night, just five days before a national election, Susan Abis of Middle Road found out the voter registration she had filed in Essex was denied, and for the first time in nearly 35 years, she would not cast a ballot. After transferring her drivers’ license to Massachusetts in June and collecting the proper documentation to register in Essex, Abis drove to the town clerk’s office and filled out a registration form on Oct. 17. A week later, she received an invitation to discuss her registration application at a registrars meeting on Nov. 1. At that meeting, officials decided Abis was ineligible to vote in Essex.

“We found that the evidence was not enough to support Essex being the center of her social, civic and domestic life,” Town Clerk Christina Wright said. “It really comes down to the individuals, and we can only act on the evidence in front of us.”

Abis, a Conomo Point homeowner who also lives part time in New Hampshire, had been denied voter registration in Essex before too. After having voted in Essex between November 2010 and Sept. 2011, Abis was removed from the ballot in the town’s cleansing of their voter rolls, encouraged by residents who opposed the seasonal residents’ registration.

Abis attempted to register again in Essex in November of last year, but was denied. In March she put in another attempt to no avail. Then, after officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles and an attorney told Abis that her Massachusetts drivers’ license, along with bills addressed to her name and Essex address, would be enough evidence of her residency, she tried this one last time in October.

“The DMV said you have all the documentation and yes, this is fine. But it’s not fine for Essex,” Abis said. Registrars questioned Abis and discussed her registration situation and potential voter eligibility over the course of about two hours Thursday night, she said. Abis said members of the board of registrars asked her questions on topics including where she attends church, her participation in local social groups and her dog’s age. The registrar’s, with Abis’ assistance totaled the number of days she spent on Conomo Point in the past year too, figuring Abis spent about one third of the year on the peninsula.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands