Jim McKenna, a former prosecutor in Massachusetts, made history when he ran for Attorney General against Martha Coakley in the 2010 election. To get on the ballot McKenna had to receive 10,000 write-in votes in the primary, a feat never accomplished before on a statewide ballot. He garnered almost twice that running on a platform of going after public corruption. He was, however, defeated by the well known incumbent, Coakley, who had even further name recognition having a year earlier been the opponent in the nationally covered Senate race for Ted Kennedy’s seat. Martha Coakley was a formidable opponent by all standards, but it would at least be nice to be sure that all votes were counted, and no voters were disenfranchised!
Fast forward to 2012, and McKenna may again make history. After a year and a half of nothing being done about evidence showing a failure to count thousands of votes in the 2010 Republican primary for Attorney General, as well as other related and apparent violations of Federal law, McKenna last month sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Ortiz [below], requesting an investigation.
Four cities, Springfield, Worcester, Boston and Lawrence were evaluated, and the following results were revealed: Election officials in Springfield certified that 389 write-in votes were cast, yet only 53 votes (14%) were for the candidates. Similar patterns were evidenced in both Lawrence and Boston, where in both cities, only 23% of the write-in votes cast were counted for a candidate, (Lawrence, 59 of 258 votes counted; Boston, 359 of 1,535 votes counted). In 18 of the 24 precincts in Lawrence where voters apparently cast write-in votes, no votes were counted for the candidates. Boston alone suggests more than 1,000 voters may have been disenfranchised where in 156 precincts voters cast write-in votes, no votes were counted for the candidates.
A meeting is being held in New Bedford TODAY where 202 voters cast write in ballots, but ZERO of those votes were certified for candidates. See http://www.redmassgroup.com/diary/14044/massgop-region-5-meeting-al.... In fact, the Worcester Telegram was informed by the election commissioner there “that she knew write-in votes had been cast for the candidates, yet chose not to count them“, leading some to speculate that there was a concerted effort to under count the GOP primary write in Ballots. If this is true, there is no reason to believe in the integrity of any Massachusetts election, but it gets worse.
Federal law requires ballots and related materials be preserved for 22 months. McKenna has documented that some of those materials have been destroyed, and the rest may be lawfully destroyed this July. This would mean that if not properly investigated and addressed forthwith, no one will be able to identify the scope of the problem, or fix it, so that it cannot, and will not, RE-occur. Says McKenna “We cannot just sit back and let voters be disenfranchised.” Let’s hope that the US Attorney General feels the same!