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As state withholds untold number of invalid ballot applications, Legislature moves forward on extending mail-in voting

July 19, 2021
CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director617-523-5005 ext. 245
WOBURN — Despite the continued withholding of an untold number of invalid ballot applications, Beacon Hill Democrats nevertheless used the budget-making process to extend pandemic-driven universal mail in-voting.

Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons on Monday called the extension “shameless,” as Democrats continue to prepare additional legislation that seeks to make universal mail-in voting permanent in the commonwealth.

“Republicans in the Legislature have been trying to find out since December what happened with the thousands of returned ballot applications the state collected last year and have been stonewalled at every turn,” Lyons said, referencing a group of GOP lawmakers’ request to access the state’s archives vault in Dorchester, where the invalid ballot applications are apparently locked up.

Lyons added that the Boston Elections Commission has still yet to respond to a MassGOP request submitted in March asking for access to 2020 ballot information. The party made the request after determining that several hundred write-in votes were likely never counted, thus denying Republican Congressional candidate Rayla Campbell a position on the 2020 general election ballot.

Lyons has since obtained sworn affidavits from multiple individuals registered to vote in Boston attesting their votes were never counted.
A copy of the March 30 letter to the Boston Elections Commission is attached below.

Meanwhile, several public records requests submitted by the MassGOP to Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin seeking the official number of returned invalid ballot applications were met with a series of unresponsive answers.

MassGOP submitted the requests on May 26.

“We have valid concerns over the potential disenfranchisement of hundreds of Boston voters and the number of invalid ballot applications in the state’s possession,yet the state Legislature is still pushing ahead with making universal mail-in voting permanent,” Lyons said. “What occurred in Boston is unconscionable, but since it didn’t affect the people currently in power, they sadly couldn’t care less.”
March 30, 2021

Dear Boston Elections Commission,

Your commission is entrusted with the indispensable purpose of ensuring electoral integrity. You have no higher responsibility than guaranteeing that the voice of each Boston voter is heard.

I am writing concerning a grave circumstance that has transpired on your watch. In an unfathomable way, the votes of 84.8% of Boston voters were not counted. Specifically, 224 of 264 Boston voters were disenfranchised. Nothing like this should happen in America, never mind in the birthplace of our democracy.

As established by the just-completed recount, at the time of the March 3, 2020, election for Republican State Committee Woman in the Second Suffolk District, each of 264 Boston voters exercised their right to cast a write-in or sticker vote for the candidate of their choice. Appallingly, only 40 of those votes would be counted. The magnitude of the failure of the City of Boston in such regard cannot be overstated; because of the disenfranchisement of 84.8 percent of those voters, none of the candidates would receive enough votes to make the ballot.

Notably, the City originally certified that, in addition to the 40 votes for the candidates, there had been 217 votes for “all others,” as well as 646 blanks. The number of uncounted votes in that election – 224 – thus exceeded the number of votes for “all others.”

There is no reason to conclude that the City did any better counting write-in votes in September, 2020, than it had in March, 2020. In the September election, write-in candidate Rayla Campbell obtained more than ten times the number of votes in Boston as did her opponent. Ms. Campbell would be certified as receiving 1,202 votes total in the district, purportedly finishing 898 votes short of the 2,000 needed to gain a spot on the general election ballot.

As noted, in the March election 217 votes were certified as being cast for “all others,” whereas a number greater than that had been cast for the candidates. In the September election, 1,279 Boston votes were certified as being cast for all others. Even if only that number had been cast for the candidates and even if Ms. Campbell received only 90% of those votes (of the Boston votes that were certified, Ms. Campbell would receive 568 of 618, or 91.9%), she would have finished with 1,151 more votes than the 1,202 which were certified, easily making the ballot.

Hence, had the disenfranchisement of March, 2020, remained unmitigated in September, it would have cost Rayla Campbell a place on the general election ballot. That manner of result is exactly what this commission exists to prevent.

Among the first casualties of compromise of election integrity is the impairment of faith in our system. It is your job to restore that faith. It is also your job to find the truth. In both such regards, the ballots from both the March and September, 2020, elections should be preserved so as to facilitate analysis as to the above-described voter disenfranchisement. As Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, I respectfully demand that you do so.

Very Truly Yours,
Jim Lyons
Chairman, Massachusetts Republican Party
Paid for by the Massachusetts Republican Party
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee