39 of nearly 108,000 ballots rejected in Boston mayoral preliminary election, city says

Sec. of State Galvin: Those voters likely tried to vote twice due to uncertainty of mail-in vote arrival

BOSTON — Boston’s preliminary election this year was different.

“It took a long time for results to come in; longer than any of us wanted,” said Alex Psilakis of MassVOTE. “We wish they came in sooner, but what’s more important is that they are accurate, and we are hoping for the general [that] things will come in sooner and things will be accurate and even more efficient.”

Because of those concerns regarding November’s general election, we submitted a public records request to the Boston Election Department to see if there was anything done fraudulently. We learned the city rejected 39 ballots because the person had already voted.

“Ballots are rejected if they were placed in a dropbox or arrived by mail after the voter already voted in person,” said Eneida Tavares, the chair of the Board of Election Commissioners.

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Still, she said because they are required to cross-reference the voter list from each precinct before counting mail-in ballots, no voters actually voted twice.

“In the whole election, about 108,000 people voted and only 39 of those were canceled... That’s almost none. The mechanisms are in place to make sure any illegitimate ballot was caught. So if there was anything fraudulent going on the ballot was caught, that means the system worked.”

Secretary of State William Galvin said he doesn’t think these were done intentionally writing,

“It is likely that these voters cast their ballots in person on Election Day due to uncertainty about whether their ballots would arrive in time to be counted,” he said.

There is no way to tell if those 39 voters did this by accident or intentionally, but the state and the city both said because ballots can take several days to be delivered by the Postal Service, they encourage voters to track their ballots and consider voting in-person if they didn’t see that their ballot had reached City Hall.

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