The two Senate campaigns are now firing rhetorical shots at each other over allegations of irregularities in the election. And the Brown campaign is accusing the Coakley campaign of making the whole thing up — that is, the Republican says the Democrat is crying vote fraud.
The Coakley campaign sounded the alarm that some voters — five, by their count — were handed ballots that had already been marked for Scott Brown.
The Brown campaign seized on reports that the Coakley campaign’s press release was originally dated “January 18,” accusing the Coakley camp of having written the whole thing in advance. (As of right now, at least, the page is dated January 19. Coakley campaign spokesman Corey Welford told us: “It was a typo.”)“Reports that the Coakley campaign is making reckless accusations regarding the integrity of today’s election is a reminder that they are a desperate campaign,” said Brown campaign legal counsel Daniel Winslow, in a press release. “In fact, news reports point out that today’s accusation was a pre-dated, in the bag political attack. Furthermore, Senator John Kerry accused Brown supporters of intimidation and bullying — a tactic taken directly from his own 2004 playbook.”
Coakley campaign spokesman Corey Welford denied that the release was pre-written. “It was written today, and it was posted today,” Welford told TPMDC. “These irregularities and allegations occurred today.”
The Boston Herald got a comment from Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat. (Yes, the Herald is a very, very pro-Brown paper. But we can probably take Galvin himself at face value, or at least not dismiss him as being in the tank for Brown.)
In the Brighton case, Secretary of State William Galvin said a ballot that was filled out, but never put in the voting machine, was left on a table and given to another voter. Poll workers verified the optical scanner was short one ballot and issued the voter a clean ballot, Galvin said. The other ballot was voided, he said.
In Cambridge, a voter took a ballot that was believed to be clean and then went into the voting booth. The voter then told election officials the ballot had been filled out.
Galvin said the ballot was voided and the voter was given a clean ballot.
“In both there was no official involvement and no official misconduct at any time,” he said.
In the example of the Brighton case, if true this would actually be good news for Coakley — it means a Brown vote was just thrown out because the voter failed to properly deposit it in the ballot box, and there is probably nothing the Brown camp could do about it if this were to go to a recount.
Here’s the Brown campaign press release:
BROWN CAMPAIGN RESPONDS TO COAKLEY ACCUSATIONS OF MARKED BALLOTS
“Reports that the Coakley campaign is making reckless accusations regarding the integrity of today’s election is a reminder that they are a desperate campaign. In fact, news reports point out that today’s accusation was a pre-dated, in the bag political attack. Furthermore, Senator John Kerry accused Brown supporters of intimidation and bullying — a tactic taken directly from his own 2004 playbook. The reality is that Massachusetts voters will determine the outcome of this election despite political attacks leveled by Martha Coakley and national Democrats.” — Daniel B. Winslow, Counsel for the Scott Brown for U.S. Senate Campaign
CLICK HERE to view a screen shot of the pre-dated attack.
In 2004, Kerry’s Campaign Team Sent A Guidebook To Their Colorado Staff Telling Them To Launch A “Pre-Emptive Strike” If “No Signs Of Intimidation Techniques” Are Reported. “If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a ‘pre-emptive strike’ (particularly well-suited to states in which there techniques have been tried in the past).
â¢ Issue a press release
i. Reviewing Republican tactic used in the past in your area or state
ii. Quoting party/minority/civil rights leadership as denouncing tactics that discourage people from voting
â¢ Prime minority leadership to discuss the issue in the media; provide talking points
â¢ Place stories in which minority leadership expresses concern about the threat of intimidation tactics
â¢ Warn local newspapers not to accept advertising that is not properly disclaimed or that contains false warnings about voting requirements and/or about what will happen at the polls” (Kerry-Edwards 2004, “Colorado Election Day Manual: A Detailed Guide To Voting In Colorado,” 11/04)