'The simple fact is that our democracy is strongest, and our freedom is greatest, when we stand up for each other.'
Winning the battle for e-Nominations
I just wanted to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. As you know, we entered the race at the last moment and knew it would be an uphill climb. We quickly assembled a great team and hit the ground running, visiting all of the 4th CD’s cities and towns in just our first 10 days. Those who know me best, know that I never compromise my principles and I take an entrepreneurial approach with everything I do. That includes taking risks, particularly if the outcome can benefit others.
Within days of entering the race the pandemic gripped us all. I had to make a tough decision -- continue to follow the inane and dangerous public collection of pen and paper nomination signatures; or fight to protect voters' voices by challenging the status quo. I chose the latter.
We led in designing the first online e-nomination signature system in Massachusetts – protecting voters’ rights and health. With less than two weeks to collect more than 1,000 e-nominations we came close but did not reach our goal in getting on the ballot.
Nevertheless, we made history fighting for and collecting e-nominations from more than 20 towns across the 4th District, with few resources and without burdening voters during a pandemic – a huge win for Massachusetts.
Why only two weeks to collect e-nominations? The simple fact is Secretary Bill Galvin did nothing to address the archaic ink and paper signature collection process during the pandemic. He mindlessly instructed campaigns to continue approaching voters in public while wearing masks and handing out “fresh” pens and forms amidst a global pandemic – we refused.
What voters should also know is that Galvin fought to prevent online signatures all the way to the Supreme Judicial Court, where he lost in a rare and stunning rebuke -- It wasn't until April 21, 2020 that Galvin issued final instructions for collecting e-nominations leaving less than 2 weeks before the May 5th deadline. Had Galvin acted at the outset of the pandemic, campaigns would have had at least six weeks to collect e-nominations safely and securely. Thus, we will never know the ultimate impact on the 2020 election.
As you may have heard, many town and city election officials have been overwhelmed by the inordinate number of single signature nomination sheets submitted by campaigns and another foreseeable consequence of Galvin’s failure. In an effort to help reduce the stress and the burden on our local election’s officials, we intentionally submitted only a very small portion of our collected e-nomination forms for certification in setting a precedent for future elections.
I take great solace in the fact that our solution-centric approach resulted in Massachusetts voters casting online e-nominations safely and securely for the first time. As we work together to protect our democracy and emerge from the pandemic, I promise to keep fighting for your rights and holding accountable those who fail us.
Thank you again for standing with me in this remarkable effort in an unprecedented time.
Be well and stay well –
"My thoughts are with those who have been working tirelessly on the front lines today and will be for the foreseeable future. From first responders to grocery store staff from delivery drivers to city and state sanitation departments and our incredible medical community. We are thankful for your determination and will do all we can to support your efforts."