Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Not in Westbrook

I was astonished to hear national and state leaders try to undermine the integrity of the 2020 election and was heartened by the local response in Westbrook, where I reside.

Our first selectmen, Noel Bishop, put out a press release informing residents of voting procedures during the Coronavirus pandemic and assuring us that our votes would be counted honestly and accurately. Our town clerk, registrars, and other town employees worked tirelessly to process absentee ballot requests and later absentee ballots so that no resident had to choose between their health and their vote. On Election Day, poll workers risked their own health to help make election day voting run smoothly, and town employees counted votes in a timely fashion in spite of the unprecedented number of absentee ballots.

Finally, more than 87 percent of eligible voters in Westbrook exercised their right to vote, well above state (80 percent) and national (67 percent) turnout rates. Many chose to vote via absentee ballot, and those who opted to vote in person showed up to the polls wearing a mask to protect poll workers and other voters.

I am relieved that attempts to undermine the integrity of the election were not successful in Westbrook.

Kate Gilstad-Hayden