Where’s Elisabeth Shue When You Need Her?

Swansea parents might want to think again next time they try to attend a town meeting with kids in tow:  the South Coast Herald reports that they won’t be allowed inside.

April Sousa wasn’t allowed inside a special town meeting on Monday, because she couldn’t find a sitter and made the grievous error of bringing her two-year old along.  That didn’t sit well with meeting moderator Paul Burke, who explains his rationale for banning the pair from the meeting:

“You don’t get in unless you’re a registered voter,” Burke said. “The child would have had to sit in the guest section, and you don’t let a 2-year-old sit in the guest section alone.”

Burke said those sitting in the guest section are not allowed to vote.

“So, if the mother had wanted to sit in the guest section with her child, she wouldn’t have been able to vote,” Burke said.

Burke also said there are no provisions for absentee ballots at Town Meeting.

“You have to be there,” Burke said.

Town clerk Susan Taveira agrees:  “We turn away anyone with children,” she said. “It’s just no place for children. It’s for registered voters.”

While I’ve been to enough events that were marred by screaming kids, that doesn’t seem to be the issue here, because theoretically it would have been okay for Sousa to leave her child in a different section of the room.  It seems more like Burke was afraid of the two-year old influencing the vote.  Or something.  Uh, right?

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