By Bob Katzen

The House 32-126, rejected an amendment to a current law that imposes up to a $10,000 fine and/or up to a 5-year prison sentence on anyone who knowingly engages in any type of voting fraud including illegally registering to vote; illegally voting or attempting to vote; voting more than once; and aiding and abetting a person who is illegally voting. The amendment would raise the fine to up to $20,000.

“Maintaining the integrity of our elections is of paramount importance and is not a partisan issue,” said House Minority Leader Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading), the sponsor of the amendment. “Expanding the existing financial penalties for those individuals who knowingly attempt to engage in voting fraud will provide a strong deterrent to help prevent this type of illegal activity.”

“We’re in agreement,” said Rep. Dan Ryan (D-Charlestown), the House chair of the Elections Laws Committee. “Of course we all want safe and secure elections. That’s why we are here … there are safeguards already in place, in Massachusetts General Law, to prevent such fraud and abuse of our electoral system. And study after study has also shown that election fraud is not as prevalent as some might think it is, or as folks purport it to be. So therefore $10,000 seems like an appropriate deterrent to election fraud. So I ask for a ‘No’ vote on the amendment, as what is in place is currently working.”

(A “Yes” vote is for raising the fine to up to $20,000. A “No” vote is against raising it.)

Rep. Christine Barber No Rep. Mike Connolly No Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven No

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