While we had one anonymous naysayer on yesterday's post, we hold that the issue is not that we need a suddenly liberal light in the Secretary's office (and head). The bad guys played by the rules.
Galvin investigated petition
December 23, 2005
I AM writing to correct false information in the column ''Fraud taints antigay measure" (op ed, Dec. 22) relating to the pending initiative petition on marriage rights.
The author falsely claims that I did not investigate accusations that some voters were misled into signing the marriage petition believing that it was a petition relating to the sale of wine. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I have vigorously investigated these allegations. A comparison, initiated by me of certified signatures appearing on both petitions, revealed that of the 123,356 signatures filed in support of the marriage petition only 14,288 appear on both petitions, leaving 109,068 signatures when only 65,825 signatures were needed.
Fairness, honesty, and accuracy in counting are critical in the conduct of elections. Although I personally oppose banning gay marriage because I have seen no adverse effect from it on society, I must protect the rights of voters to petition, even if I disagree with them.
WILLIAM F. GALVIN, Secretary of State Commonwealth of Massachusetts
What should be plain includes:
- This is a hateful and immoral initiative effort.
- AG Tom Reilly had several chances and excellent legal reasons to forbid gathering signatures for it. He did not and appears both clueless and gutless.
- The initiative process is badly used and abused by commercial and political special interests to the detriment of the commonwealth.
- We need real reform now, so that we can return the initiative to its original, democratic purpose as a check on legislators run amok and voting agog.
- We all need to check the signatures at Knowthyneighbor, so that legislators and the AG can measure the final extent of the fraud.
We need to work to see that they don't even get that 25% of the 200 members of the General Court. That's a very small percentage. You could probably get a quarter of them to vote make straw boaters the official hat of Massachusetts. Legislators need to know that they should not associate themselves with this loser, losing effort.
Meanwhile, write your local paper, visit your legislators, and tell them that ballot initiatives need serious reform in the next session. They'll have this nasty example right before them as a reminder.