Massachusetts: 2020 went so well we should make this vote-by-mail thing permanent

You remember how smoothly everything went in last year’s elections with the hundreds of millions of mail-in ballots flying around all over the place, right? Of course you do. We all do. Thank God we didn’t run into any major problems.

That seems to be the attitude in Massachusetts this month, only they aren’t saying it sarcastically. Secretary of State William Galvin announced this week that he was so impressed with the way it was all handled that a bill is being introduced to allow unlimited mail-in voting and same-day voter registration in all future elections. And as near as I can tell, he’s being totally serious. Let’s hear it straight from the Secretary’s mouth. (CBS Boston)

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin has proposed making vote by mail and same-day registration become permanent fixtures in all elections. A bill will be filed later this month, his office announced Tuesday.

“Last year tested us in many ways. It was a very challenging year, certainly for the local election officials. It tested us but at the same time, it showed us what we can do. And I think the result was that we had a very successful election cycle and we want to make sure that progress is not lost,” Galvin told WBZ-TV.

Oh, yes. We certainly wouldn’t want to lose all of that “progress” that was made, would we? I’m not sure if the Secretary of State is dealing with some “senior moment” issues or not, but perhaps a review of some very recent history is in order here.

I would first point out this is the same Bill Galvin who, last August, said that of the more than one million primary ballots that had been mailed out, he could account for slightly more than half of them. For those who don’t have a napkin and a pencil handy to do the math, that means that roughly half a million ballots were unaccounted for.

From that same article, it was noted that just in the city of Medford, more than 1,000 ballots were mailed out without an accompanying envelope to return them in. Multiple voters reported either not receiving their ballots or finding one in the mail addressed to a person who didn’t live there.

The mail-in voting in the primary was a mess so election officials clearly knew a change was needed. So what did they do? They passed a rule saying that they would literally count the votes of the recently deceased. Because, you know… you wouldn’t want to discriminate against anyone.

Most of the irregularities we reported on in Massachusetts were not the result of intentional voter fraud. They were caused by systemic errors in the state’s records. Just like every state except for Oregon and a couple of others, Massachusetts does not make any serious effort to clean up its voter rolls. Those records are riddled with errors. The rolls include massive numbers of people who are dead, who have changed address or even left the state. Name changes are not reflected in many cases, particularly for people who have recently married.

The state has done absolutely nothing to force a comprehensive clean-up of its voter rolls. All of those problems are still out there and they will be for the next election as well. So if the pandemic is somehow “over” in 2022 and people are able to go back to voting in person but Massachusetts manages to botch the mid-terms, they will have nobody to blame but themselves.