Coakley Campaign Charges Fraud
by Nathan Empsall, Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 05:32:13 PM EST
Kevin Conroy, Martha Coakley's campaign manager, just sent out this e-mail in the heat of election day:
We've received several independent and disturbing reports of voters across the state being handed ballots that are already marked in favor of Scott Brown. This is obviously a serious violation, and our legal team is taking immediate steps to protect the integrity of this election.
We do not yet know why this is happening, but you and everyone you know needs to be aware of the situation so that you can carefully inspect your ballot. If a vote has already been marked, you must return the ballot to the elections official, demand a clean ballot, and call our Voter Protection Hotline at 617-351-6866.
If true, this is a very disturbing development, as well as a surprising one given that most local officials (though not necessarily polling place volunteers) in Massachusetts are Democrats. More importantly, this e-mail strikes me as Coakley's way of saying, "If I lose, I'll sue." Such a lawsuit would mean that even if Scott Brown wins, he won't win tonight. It would drag out Paul Kirk's tenure in the U.S. Senate (just as Norm Coleman's Minnesota lawsuits dragged out his seat's vacancy), bolstering chances for passage of health care reform but giving Massachusetts voters a massive headache and potentially embarassing the Democratic Party.
For the sake of democracy, one hopes no voter fraud is occuring; this is certainly something to keep an eye on.