A state lawmaker who agreed to plead guilty to casting invalid absentee ballots in elections in 2009 and 2010 has submitted his resignation letter. State Rep. Stephen Smith submitted the letter, dated Monday, to the state’s top election official, Secretary William Galvin. “I respectfully decline to accept this office,” Smith’s signed letter states, Galvin said Tuesday. A calendar has been prepared for a special election to fill the vacancy, with a primary in March and the election in April, Galvin said. Members of the state House will discuss the issue Wednesday, he said.
Smith, a Democrat from Everett, had previously said he would resign and not seek elected office for five years after agreeing to plead guilty in the absentee ballots case.
Federal prosecutors said Smith, a member of the House since 2007, cast ballots for voters who were ineligible or were unaware of ballots being cast in their names.
Investigators said last month that in some cases Smith would intercept ballots before their delivery and cast them himself. They said Smith, a member of the Election Laws Committee, had help intercepting the ballots from “one or more government officials.”
Galvin, a Democrat, says he is asking federal prosecutors for more information about Smith’s case before deciding if any other steps need to be taken but is reluctant to recommend tightening access to absentee ballots. He says he’s interested in finding out which government officials might have helped Smith.
“I would have to remove them,” he said emphatically.
Full Article: Mass. Lawmaker In Voting Scandal Quits Office | WBUR.