January 19th, 2010
07:42 PM ET
5 years ago

Dems: Some voters got ballots already marked for Republican

 Voters at three different places received ballots already marked for Republican candidate Scott Brown in Tuesday's special U.S. Senate election, according to campaign officials for Democratic candidate Martha Coakley.
Voters at three different places received ballots already marked for Republican candidate Scott Brown in Tuesday's special U.S. Senate election, according to campaign officials for Democratic candidate Martha Coakley.

Boston (CNN) - Voters at three different places received ballots already marked for Republican candidate Scott Brown in Tuesday's special U.S. Senate election, according to campaign officials for Democratic candidate Martha Coakley.

At a news conference less than three hours before polls closed, Coakley campaign attorney Marc Elias said the campaign notified the Massachusetts secretary of state of what he called spoiled ballots that should not be counted.

Brian McNiff, a spokesman for the Massachusetts secretary of state's office, said it received two reports of voters saying they received pre-marked ballots.

The voters received new ballots to cast, and the ballots in question were invalidated, McNiff said.

Kevin Conroy, the Coakley campaign manager, said the "disturbing incidents" raised questions about the integrity of the election. In response, the Brown campaign issued a statement criticizing Coakley's team.

"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," Daniel B. Winslow, the counsel for the Brown campaign, said in the statement.

Brown and Coakley are running for the Senate seat formerly held for more than four decades by liberal Democrat Ted Kennedy. The race is surprisingly tight, with Brown surging from behind in recent weeks.

A Republican victory in the Democratic stronghold would imperil the agenda of President Barack Obama by stripping Senate Democrats of their 60-seat super-majority needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Elias was the lead attorney for Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, in his protracted election battle that prompted a court fight before Franken was declared the winner months after the November 2008 vote.

–CNN's Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.


Filed under: Martha Coakley • Massachusetts • Scott Brown
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. philip edward smith

    Is there now, no integrity left in the Democratic Party?

    January 19, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Given that the areas that use paper ballots are overwhelmingly democratic, and the ballots would be in the control of local officials until handed to a voter, and these two incidents, seemingly in the same place are all that was reported, what does that tell us?

    And the fact that a youtube VIDEO of a democratic politician in Lawrence handing out spanish language absentee ballots and instructing the voters on "how" (nudge, wink) to fill them in doesn't get investigated, well, that tells us all we need to know.

    Hope and Change

    January 19, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. Eric

    You're kidding right? In a state that is controlled entirely by the Democrats, how in the world could the Republicans slip in ballots like this.

    This accusation is a joke of epic proportions, and I pray that people do not believe this.

    January 19, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  4. Bull

    Typical lies, spread by the illiterate Democrat masses when they are having their hats handed to them. I'm sure they took a cue from Kerry when publishing this bull.

    January 19, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. Rick

    This is a very crude attempt by the Democrat machine to open the door for legal action in an attempt to delay the ratification of the election results until after Obama and the Dems get their health care legislation passed.

    There is every reason to beleive that those ballots, if they were actually pre-marked, werre "pre-marked" by Democrat operatives.

    How obvious can they be?

    January 19, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. Not gonna get posted again

    And the excuses and whining is already starting....I am ashamed that I am registered as a Dem

    January 19, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. James

    The only way the GOP win elections is by cheating. Shameful GOP.

    January 19, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. Mike

    Probally along with voters shipped in to vote from other states for brown.

    January 19, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. TexasJack

    This is another of the Democrat Kennedy influx trying to discredit the election results. The Democrats lost so shut up.

    January 19, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Tom in Delaware

    Interesting....No Voter Fraud should be tolerated AT ALL.

    I know there were reports (and video) of a woman handing out absentee ballots today and telling people to vote for Coakley(Absentee Ballots were to end last Friday).

    Niether is acceptable.

    January 19, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Brian

    Just saving the voters some time...

    January 19, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. Scott

    Same democratic bull.... this is such utter bull crap...they know brown is winning and they attempt to pull these kind of stunts

    January 19, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  13. GuyInVA

    And so it begins. If Brown wins, we will have endless court challenges. There will be the count, the recount, the re-recount, recounts of specific counties, recounts of specific precincts, etc. Mr. Brown stands very little chance of winning this regardless of who gets the most votes.

    January 19, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  14. Will

    Why am I not surprised?

    January 19, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. Steve

    Typical Dem smear tactics. When you cannot win, you accuse your opponent of shady behavior. As if anyone with a brain believes that a Rep. state senator in an overwhelmingly Dem controlled state could pull off something like pre-marked ballots...

    January 19, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  16. Bryan

    Leave it to the Republicans to not run a clean campaign.

    Win at all cost eh?

    January 19, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  17. Jim

    She's a liar. Her memo that "broke" this "story" was dated yesterday BEFORE any voter was even handed a ballot. Good thing this Socialist dog is going to LOSE!

    January 19, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. JB

    Oh please! The party is not dead, it's just beginning!!!

    January 19, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  19. Jimmy James

    They are already making excuses. Lame attempt considering this is a state run 100% by democrats. They control all positions at the state level. Living in Mass, I look forward to the fall of 2010. The democrats will fall and the Patriots start a new season. :)

    January 19, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  20. They call me "tater salad"

    The FACT that the Republicans rigged another election should come as no surprise to any THINKING person who pays attention for any length of time..........No surprise here!!!!

    January 19, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  21. Scott Grundy

    Yet again it seems that the US cannot manage to administer an election.
    IT is time you considered having a body whose only job is to supervise elections. That way no machines that have flaws and voting irregularities would happen. This would be as an election supervising authority would have a corporate memory. It would be on the lookout for such things with experience. Countries like Australia do this, Your system seems to reinvent the wheel every time.

    January 19, 2010 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  22. New Yorker

    Undoubtedly, some Democrats marked them.
    Ayway, all the voters had to do was return them and get unmarked ones. This is nothing compared to what happened in the 23rd district of New York where fraud was reported and the Democrat "won" when the Republican was leading in the polls.

    January 19, 2010 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  23. New Yorker

    Undoubtedly, some Democrats marked them.
    Anyway, all the voters had to do was return them and get unmarked ones. This is nothing compared to what happened in the 23rd district of New York where fraud was reported and the Democrat "won" when the Republican was leading in the polls.

    January 19, 2010 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. DickyMills

    Liar – Liar yo pants is on fire. Only Dems are smart enough to pull some kind of silly mess as that. Party of the Elite, don't you know...

    January 19, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  25. DickyMills

    I wanta see fingerprints of these supposed premarked ballots. Dems used latex gloves, of course. Party of the Intellectual Elite can't get anything past us serfs without deception and flat-out LIES. Shame on all of you...

    January 19, 2010 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
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