The state’s election board sent a letter to former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign announcing the board will not go to the courts to ask for an extension for some absentee ballots to be turned in. The letter comes after the Government Accountability Board announced this week that 37 absentee ballots to overseas and military voters were sent out past the required deadline. This prompted a response from the Romney campaign, which told the board there should be an extension in the deadline for those voters to return their ballots. “I am writing to express my concern regarding your office’s attention to the voting rights of men and women in uniforms, and to urge you to take immediate action to correct recent violations of military voting rights,” the Romney campaign told the GAB in a letter. President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign agreed with Romney that it was important to see whether the voters were being denied their right to vote, United Council Governmental Relations Director Analiese Eicher said. She assured all votes would be counted.
GAB sent a letter Wednesday to the Romney campaign saying the late ballots were all sent out in time for their ballots to be sent back in and counted. The board cannot extend the deadline by itself and can only do so with a court order, which it said it is “not inclined to seek” because of the facts it currently has regarding the ability to return the ballots on time. The board also noted absentee ballots would be counted if clerks receive them before 4 p.m. Nov. 9, three days after the election. According to the GAB letter, out of the state’s 1,851 municipalities, only 27 did not send a total of 37 ballots out in time. Military and overseas voters’ ballots must be sent 45 days before an election under federal law.