Coakley Campaign Charges Fraud

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.

Tags: MA-Sen, voter fraud (all tags)

Comments

7 Comments

isn't this often

Some sort of sample ballot being handed out outside the precints rather than the real ballot? I guess we will see.

 

 

by John DE 2010-01-19 05:46PM | 0 recs
If the Republicans were so sure that they are going to win the seat, what's the point

of doing so? What about the media narrative about overwhelming Scott Brown win?

by louisprandtl 2010-01-19 05:47PM | 0 recs
RE: Coakley Campaign Charges Fraud

they are starting to attack everybody they can.

 

Here's the campaign attacking the Democratic Party:

http://politics.theatlantic.com/2010/01/annotating_coakleys_excyses.php

 

by jeopardy 2010-01-19 05:47PM | 0 recs
Heh

There are always reports on Election Day of crazy stuff happening, most of which fail to pan out in the end.

by Steve M 2010-01-19 05:58PM | 0 recs
I hate to sound so November 2000, but

If we get into some kind of protracted legal battle over this, we will lose the Congress next fall.  This is the kind of s**t people are tired of.  There's a growing feeling that the government just doesn't work.  Elections ending in lawsuits are a prime example of this.

by the mollusk 2010-01-19 05:59PM | 1 recs
Genius

This is brilliant.  The Republicans have been shouting fraud over every close election for years now.  By whining first, Coakley pre-empts the media from taking their accusations seriously. 

It's just like the principle of candidates with an unexposed weakness.  Accuse your opponent of the same thing before it gets out about your guy and it'll just look like dirty schoolyard bullying when it does come out.

by Newt 2010-01-19 06:41PM | 0 recs
how would this help?

Assuming this is true, I don't get how it would affect much of anything. A voter who wanted to vote for Brown either just leaves it or says something to the polling official. A voter who wanted to vote for Coakley or anyone else either notices it and says something, or doesn't notice it and tries to submit and overmarked ballot. Does MA not have something in place to check if people are screwing up their ballots? I know that in Wisconsin, for example, if you try to submit an over or undermarked ballot the machine spits it out the first time so you can confirm your intent. It seems like the only way this gets votes to Brown is if someone came out to vote but decided to abstain in the Senate race, assuming there's anything else on the ballot.

by aaronetc 2010-01-19 08:10PM | 0 recs

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