The state’s top election official says he’s asking federal prosecutors for more information about a lawmaker who agreed to plead guilty to casting invalid absentee ballots but he’s reluctant to recommend tightening access to the ballots. State Secretary William Galvin says he wants more details about the case of Rep. Stephen Smith before deciding if any other steps needs to be taken. Galvin said he’s most interested in finding out who might have helped Smith. “I’ve very interested in finding out if there was any kind of electoral misconduct,” Galvin said. “If I believe there is any involvement of any election officials, I’m going to take action.”
Investigators from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office have said Smith, a Democrat from Everett, submitted fraudulent absentee ballot applications for voters who were ineligible or unaware the ballots were being requested in 2009 and 2010.
“Smith was able to obtain many of the official absentee ballots and cause them to be delivered to the ineligible voters, who would then cast votes despite lacking any eligibility to do so, or Smith would cast the absentee ballots himself,” prosecutors said in court papers.
Investigators said in the cases of unaware voters, one or more government officials helped Smith in tracking and/or intercepting the absentee ballots before their delivery to the voters. In those cases, they said, the absentee ballots “were cast for the unaware voters.”