Former Republican office-seekers are speaking out against mail-in voting in Massachusetts, claiming its continued widespread use would open “too many doors for fraud” — but Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin is dismissing their concerns as “out of touch.”
A handful of former state and federal GOP candidates gathered Thursday outside One Ashburton Place, home of the state’s elections division, to raise issues of election transparency they fear will grow if expanded mail-in voting remains in place post-pandemic.
“Mail-in voting was adopted for a single purpose, to assist citizens in a public health crisis,” former 5th Congressional District hopeful Caroline Colarusso said. “But the day after the election the secretary of state was promoting mail-in voting for the entire future of the commonwealth.”
Echoing issues of “transparency and accountability” floated by President Trump and his allies nationwide in the aftermath of the presidential election, Colarusso warned that if candidates such as herself “feel the deck is stacked in regard to election integrity, we won’t have competitive races in Massachusetts in the future.”
John Paul Moran, who ran against U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton in the 6th Congressional District, said, “mail-in voting opens too many doors for fraud.”
“We’re not here to prove that voter fraud exists. We only need proof that it can exist,” Moran said. He claimed the only way for a “free and fair election” is to have “in-person voting with voter identification and proof of residency.”
Massachusetts GOP Vice Chairman Tom Mountain said “voter integrity has been questioned” after people reported receiving multiple ballots or being sent their neighbors’ ballots. The Republicans also voiced concerns about the use of Dominion Voting Systems software, which Trump has repeatedly skewered in his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in the presidential race.
“It’s discouraging for future candidates to have any questions surrounding the integrity of the election,” said Summer Schmaling, the Republican candidate for 12th Plymouth District representative.
Minutes later and just steps away, Galvin defended the state’s expanded vote-by-mail effort this year as a “tremendous success” in a brief news conference outside the State House in which he dismissed the Republican detractors.
“They’re all losing candidates. They didn’t just lose, they lost badly,” Galvin said. “They’ve had nothing to say that makes any sense at all.”
Thirty-seven percent of people who requested mail-in ballots were Republicans, Galvin said, “So obviously they’re not sharing the opinion of these folks.”
The state’s top election official also praised the Senate’s passage Thursday of an amendment to extend mail-in ballot measures expanded amid the pandemic through June 30 of next year.
“That’s important,” Galvin said, adding that the Republican naysayers “are simply out of touch.”