By Bob Katzen

The House 29-128, rejected an amendment that would require that any voting software or voting machine that is used to process early, absentee or mail-in voting prior to Election Day must be secured at all times once the processing has begun. At the end of each processing period, the machine, software and ballots must be secured by a police officer and an election official either in a secured vault at the city or town hall or at the police station in a private cell—and must remain under video surveillance.

Amendment sponsor Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) said that voters should feel confident in knowing that their ballots are always safe and secure. “As early voting continues to expand, we need to make sure that these ballots have the same security and chain of custody as do the ballots on Election Day,” said Dooley. Once the early ballots are processed—currently there is no 24/7chain of custody protection—opening up the possibility for tampering or questioning the process.”

“As we’ve discussed earlier, the security of our ballot boxes and our ballots once they arrive are not an issue,” said Elections Laws House Chair Rep. Dan Ryan. “We currently have a Massachusetts General Law as we continue to examine election integrity and security. We have laws that requires the clerk of each city and town to provide a place for the safekeeping of the ballot boxes and voting machines used throughout the commonwealth. The care and custody of voting machines, ballots, boxes and apparatus are kept in good order and repair subject to the supervision and control of the secretary of state. So, therefore I request a ‘No’ vote on this amendment.”

(A “Yes” vote is for the amendment. A “No” vote is against it.)

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

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