The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance (MassFiscal) made the following statement today applauding the expiration of the antiquated statewide vote-by-mail program that expires today.
Long standing Massachusetts election law already allows any voter who wishes to request a no-excuse vote-by-mail ballot, the option to do so. However, the statewide mailing of unsolicited applications to voters will expire.
The reliability of statewide vote-by-mail has come under scrutiny through the course of the experiment. During the recent Boston Mayoral election, several city councilors raised concerns that some vote-by-mail ballots were improperly discarded by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The council candidate allegations came on the day before Election Day. One of the Boston City Councilors was quoted as alleging that a substitute letter carrier was “caught” tossing ballots. This was not the first time the USPS came under fire for its handling of deliveries. In April, WGBH investigative reporter Paul Singer reported on the USPS delayed delivery of mail in a story titled “We Mailed 100 Letters to Test The Postal Service. We Did Not Get Speedy Delivery.” More recently, countless consumers have experienced delays in deliveries during the holiday season from the USPS. MassFiscal has cautioned both State House leaders and vote-by-mail advocates of the pitfalls associated with wide scale adoption of vote by mail, which is less secure and will always remain less secure, than traditional voting in person and at a voting location.
“Anytime a voter gives up their ballot to someone that is not an election official, there is a greater chance that ballot will not count compared to voting in person and on Election Day. If you hold your vote as sacred, you should do everything in your power to make sure you hand deliver your completed ballot to the appropriate voting machine or election official. Today’s expiration of the temporary statewide vote-by-mail program brings Massachusetts voters one step closer in ensuring their ballots are properly counted,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“There will always be a risk with large scale vote-by-mail programs. There will always be ballots that go uncounted. Some voters will always be disenfranchised. It is completely misguided to think large-scale vote-by-mail will go flawlessly, with 100% of the ballots counted.” Continued Craney.
“Polling locations count 100% of the ballots which are cast, but the USPS cannot guarantee 100% of the ballots sent in the mail will reach election officials. The more links in the chain of custody of a ballot, the less secure it will be. State House leaders need to emphasize in-person and on Election Day voting in Massachusetts. That is the only way to guarantee greater election integrity,” concluded Craney.