Election protection plays a role in fair, smooth elections

Election protection plays a role in fair, smooth elections

After reports of “election irregularities” during Lawrence’s preliminary election in September, Common Cause Massachusetts organized a last minute election protection effort to ensure fair election procedures and smooth administration during the city’s general election. We dispatched 30 poll observers to select polling locations throughout the day and directed people to call our office line should they witness any election problems.

The result. A pretty quiet, uneventful day (i.e. Success!).

“We had a few problems we addressed in the morning. Those were taken care of pretty quickly. We were very pleased with how it’s going and thankful the Secretary of State is there and we’ve been able to work with them in the city to solve minor problems that came to our attention,” said Executive Director Pam Wilmot.

The Secretary of State’s office also sent some half a dozen staff to observe election procedures and ensure compliance with state law.

Campaign fliers for Mayor William Lantigua were found inside polling places but they were promptly thrown out. On another occasion a the poll worker at the Guilmette School in District D2 who was advocating for a candidate also was removed. Several voting machines also broke down, but they were quickly fixed or replaced and did not cause large scale voting problems.

Common Cause voter protection volunteers as well as the city’s election administrators and the Secretary of State’s observers deserve a tremendous thank you for all contributing to this election success.

Now attention turns to ensuring a fair counting of an extremely close vote in the city’s mayoral election. Last night’s tally has challenger Daniel Rivera besting incumbent Mayor William Lantigua by just 60 votes!