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Coakley Holds Presser Over 'Irregularities'

Accusations on both sides.

6:50 PM, Jan 19, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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The Coakley campaign held a conference call this evening to allege "voting irregularities" reported several supporters, who claimed they got ballots pre-marked for Brown.

The Sec. of State William Galvin, talked to the Boston Herald about two such instances:

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.

Salon says, "meh," and warns Coakley supporters that they're not talking like this because they're winning.

The Coakley campaign's press release about the alleged irregularities was dated yesterday. The date has since been corrected, but I grabbed a screen shot. It was either a typo, once again demonstrating the incompetence of the Coakley campaign, or in the more cynical reading, evidence that Coakley's camp planned to bring forth such allegations before voting even started. I'd bet on the former, but the Brown campaign goes after them for trying to pull a pre-emptive strike.

Brown supporters were noting a YouTube video today in which a woman appears to be giving out blank absentee ballots on Election Day, but the Sec. of State expresses doubt about whether it was shot today:

The Brown campaign said there is a YouTube video of a woman displaying an absentee ballot in Lawrence, according to Galvin. He said there’s no evidence the video was taken today.

“We don’t think of it as something that’s going to affect the count,” Galvin said.

Lawrence City Clerk William Maloney said he spoke with the woman in the video, who he identified as Isabel Melendez. Melendez is a well-known figure in Lawrence and program director at the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. and hosts a local radio program.

Maloney said Melendez told him the video was shot yesterday and the ballots she is seen holding are actually samples.

There's also this video.

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