From Mark Durrenberger’s blog:

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Massachusetts to Outlaw Ken Blackwell
Through the actions of the Massachusetts Senate, and with unanimous approval by the house, the S. 2277 STRENGTHENING VOTING RIGHTS AND VOTER CONFIDENCE IN THE COMMONWEALTH’S ELECTIONS act should make it to the Governors desk shortly.

Here are the key provisions:

Section 6: Voters’ Bill of Rights
The state secretary shall provide a voters’ bill of rights in a form suitable for posting for every polling place for every election.

Should this document be distributed as called for in the legislation, I expect it will help voters when they get to the polls. John Bonifaz, candidate for Secretary of the Commonwealth has already posted his version here. His is a great starting point, but as it says in the legislation, the Secretary shall publish, “after consulting the joint committee on election laws of the general court.”

Section 7: Anti-Kenneth Blackwell
I call Section 7 the “Anti-Kenneth Blackwell” clause because this section outlaws the Secretary of State from serving as chair, treasurer or other principal officer of any political committee.

The state secretary, a city or town clerk, or a member of a board of registrars of voters or election commission in any city or town shall not serve as the chairman, treasurer, or other principal officer of any political committee, but any such public officer may serve as the chairman or principal officer, other than treasurer, of the political committee organized on his own behalf. This paragraph shall not apply to city or town clerks who do not administer elections.

As most know, Ken Blackwell served as co-chair George Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004. Blackwell was also Ohio’s Secretary of State (and is now running for Ohio Governor). Of all the problems with the 2004 election, no state has raised more doubt in voter’s minds than Ohio.

Read more about the Ohio debacle: None Dare Call it Stolen by Mark Crispin Miller, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 ElectionÅ  by Mark Crispin Miller. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Rolling Stones Article, Was the 2004 Election Stolen. The Conyers Report by Rep. John Conyers.

You can follow the history of Massachusetts Senate, No. 2277 here.

With any legislation, unintended negative consequences are a risk. These changes however, strike me as positive with few if any negative consequences. Smart Mass!


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