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. Frank P

    Wow, they have not even lost yet and they are already playing the sore loser!!! Dems, get a grip, you are gone and will not be back for a long long time if the people of this country can have a say in it!! Ciao!

    January 19, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Squigman

    If this is true, shouldn't the proper authorities be notified. And, if proven shouldn't there be jail time as a deterent to it happening again..

    January 19, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. Jenn, Philadelphia

    And so it begins, time to start implying improprieties in the voting now and let them gain enough steam to be believed no matter what. And if Elias worked for Franken in Minnesota, he should know a lot about pre-marked ballots. Maybe he'll be lucky and find another couple of ballot boxes in the trunk of his car.

    January 19, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. m smith

    now who is reckless. Gee the repos won't cheat . If ballots where already marked how is that reckless to turn them in and question it. Repos will do anything to win this one.

    January 19, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Angela Savage Austin

    I must have been living on another planet...but my memory serves me to remember "SABATAGE" from the Republicans on every and any effort of the Obama admistration to create change. What will come of all of this, is the ruins of change....seen it before...smells like Republicans!

    January 19, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. Mike

    Massachusetts had 116,483 dead people on its voter registration rolls and another 538,567 people who were no longer living at the addresses on their registrations, according to a study released Oct. 28, by Aristotle International Inc., a nonpartisan political technology and data firm.

    How many Dems vs Republicans? Would be interesting to know!

    January 19, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. MatthewDetroit

    Blame the dirty Secretary of State Galvin. Guy is a crook.

    January 19, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Allison

    The more votes for Brown, the better.

    January 19, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. Right Leaning Independent

    Coakley's campaign came up with that lame accusation a bit late! She should have tried that trick earlier in the day when some folks may have heard and believed it...

    January 19, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. jason

    honest mistake? maybe. Scott Brown MUST lose. we can't have another radical teabagger in congress. The Dems need to show a little spine, use reconciliation and create a robust public option. How can anybody oppose a bill that extends coverage to 30 MILLION Americans AND reduces the national deficit by around $150 billion over the first 10 years? The day the tea baggers and gop seperate into two seperate parties will be the end of the conservative radical movement.

    January 19, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. rachel

    Oh here we go setting up for the challenge. Are memebers of the black panther party standing outside the doors again?

    January 19, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. T'SAH from Virginia

    In every election there is a discrepancy!!! What makes this election any different. I don't think something like this is made up if you have voters complaining. If Brown’s campaign feel so confident they will win – then why question any discrepancy??

    COUNT THE VOTES!!

    January 19, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  13. Bill

    I know you are, but what am I? Typical democrat lies.

    January 19, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. JM

    Holy Cow! Polling Location workers were taking ballots previously used as a valid vote for Brown and then handing them to Coakley voters, only to find they were "already marked"? So they must be "spoiled" and therefore invalidated?

    Got to hand it to them Dems, pretty darned clever. Steal votes from Brown and you get to stand up at the same time and cry foul. Genius.

    January 19, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. joe m

    if the ballots were replaced and 3 voters were able to cast their votes what is the problem? this has the apperance of nothing more than coakley's team trying to muddy the water and cast doubt on the results. i wonder how they'll treat this matter if she actually wins. do they then turn around and say that the matter is not that important after all? this tactic does not help coakley and the democrats in gaining the trust of americans.

    January 19, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Raj A

    These are baseless accusations coming from a desperate campaign. As an independent who voted for Obama, I want fiscal change. My family and I support Scott Brown.

    January 19, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Zoe Pierson

    Wow! Coakley must be desperate – anyone who would claim that in Massachusetts, a notoriously Blue state currently in the firm control of the Democrats (Romney was a fluke), someone would pre-mark the ballots for a Republican candidate is grasping at straws. Sounds like the grumblers here in RI in 2004, a state which routinely votes 67% Democrat across the board, who thought in a notoriously Democrat-machine-controlled ward were accusing the poll workers of sabotaging the election for the Republicans. How stupid does Coakley think the public is? Oh, yeah, those grumblers – she's right, they'll believe her.

    January 19, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. Mike in SA

    Call me dubious about these claims by Coakley. I mean this whole state's political apparatus has bent over backwards to make sure a Republican didn't get this seat. The Democrats went so far as have the legislature change the law regarding the governor's appointment overturning their old law, then change it back to suit their needs. This state is run by Dems top to bottom including the Secretary of State who runs the elections. And Coakley's trying to say the fix is in for Brown? That's laughable. All this is is a transparent attempt to slow down the validation process when Brown wins to keep him from taking the seat that the public voted him in for.

    January 19, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. Thomas5

    So the legal battle has started already...

    January 19, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  20. NotFooledTX

    Boy, that's a real surprise.

    January 19, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  21. anthony caudill

    Fraud must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    January 19, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. bobby

    Unbelievalbe sore losers the Democrats are
    What a bunch of bunk

    January 19, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. Ohio D

    I am a democrat and even I am tired of the excuses...

    January 19, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. Tom in CA

    Elias is te same crook that "found" thousands of Franken ballots in the trunks of cars weeks after the polling. He should be disbarred-at the least

    January 19, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. Turnabout is Fair Play

    With Michael Steele talking about the RNC working behind the scenes, before tonite, I can almost guarantee that this is one of the ways in which they did it. If it's true, then it's time for a do-over if Coakley loses and an independent panel of both Republicans and Democrats of equal numbers supervise the voting.

    January 19, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
1 2