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MassGOP statement regarding ballot initiative projects

CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
617-523-5005 ext. 245

WOBURN — A day after several 2022 ballot petition initiatives backed by the Massachusetts Republican Party failed to clear the 80,000-plus certified signature threshold required for advancement, MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons said he’s proud of the work that activists accomplished and added that the efforts helped reinvigorate grassroots Republicans across the state.

Lyons referenced the two initiatives that came up short: petitions asking voters whether the commonwealth should enact a voter identification policy and whether Massachusetts newborns should be guaranteed lifesaving medical treatment.

“The outreach work that everybody put in will serve us well in 2022 and beyond,” Lyons said. “Despite coming up short during the tight signature collection timeframe, the feedback we received on the ground was incredible, and you can be certain that both of these causes will be taken up again enthusiastically in the future.

“These issues aren’t going away anytime soon, and I commend everyone who volunteered their time. A special thanks goes to our incredible lead organizer Wendy Wakeman, who spearheaded this challenging project and nearly pulled it off despite the numerous pitfalls it entailed. Wendy Wakeman is a true patriot.”

Lyons pointed out that the third initiative aimed at removing Massachusetts from consideration of a bureaucratically-controlled gasoline surtax wound up being successful, as activists mustered enough pressure to convince Gov. Charlie Baker to ditch the proposal.

He also noted that signature gatherers backing the newborn medical care petition nearly cleared the state’s threshold despite losing seven days. The lost time was the result of Attorney General Maura Healey’s rejection of the proposal and the Supreme Judicial Court subsequent acceptance of an emergency injunction. According to organizers, the final signature tally exceeded 100,000, but various town and city clerks disqualified roughly 25,000 signatures for undisclosed reasons.

“If not for the AG’s politically motivated denial of our right to petition, we most certainly would have prevailed,” Lyons said. “As for voter ID, we remain steadfast in the belief that the voters deserve the opportunity to decide whether the policy belongs in Massachusetts. A voter ID requirement remains the best way to restore faith in our elections.”

“Finally, thank you again to all who volunteered, to all who were willing to speak on the issues, and to those who gave us so much of their valuable time.”