( – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
Empower Massachusetts and Show ID to Vote are launching a new “Integrity of the Vote” campaign this week in Southbridge MA with a billboard asking voters to show their IDs at the polls.
After joining forces to train and dispatch hundreds of Poll Observers across Massachusetts for the November 2010 elections, these two grassroots organizations are once again working with activists to insure the Integrity of the Vote.
“Ordinary Americans acting as observers as a critical component to insuring every vote is legitimate and every vote is counted,” said Ralph Zazula of Show ID to Vote. “We will be present at both the primaries and the general elections for this spring’s two Special Elections for the State House.”
There will be special election primaries and general elections this spring. In the 10th Middlesex, the election resulted from the departure of incumbent Rep. Peter Koutoujian. In the 6th Worcester district, Republican Peter Durant won on election night, but incumbent Geraldo Alicea narrowed the gap to 1 vote exclusively through the town of Southbridge’s recount. In the other 4 towns of the district (Oxford, Charlton, Spencer, and East Brookfield) vote totals remained unchanged in recounts. A judge declared an additional Southbridge ballot should be counted, resulting in a tie and a new election.
The movement to establish voter ID requirements is sweeping the nation. As more and more people become active in grassroots politics, the importance of vote integrity becomes apparent to them. “I was present at the 6th Worcester recounts in both Charlton and Southbridge and there was a disturbing difference in the handling of the ballots,” said Christen Varley of Empower Massachusetts. “As private citizens, our only option in guaranteeing a fair and accurate outcome is to be observing on the front end of the voting process.”
“We respectfully ask that the Southbridge town clerk in particular declare what steps are being taken to ensure a fair process,” asks Tom Weaver of Show ID to Vote. “Will inactive voters be asked to present identification? Are deceased individuals being regularly removed from the voting rolls? Will groups like Neighbor to Neighbor-the local version of ACORN, who have been accused of misconduct at the polls, be denied entry to the polling places? We want to do our part, but we also want to ask that all officials are being vigilant in ensuring a fair election.”