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Worcester Elections Debacle: Top Stories in Central Mass in 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012


The biggest news out of the ballot box in Worcester this year wasn't who won or lost, but how the elections themselves were conducted.

September's state primary was plagued by allegations of voter suppression and intimidation that centered around poll observers, and the City's Board of Election Commissioners, after hearing from poll workers and Council members, moved to institute new rules for poll observers that would require them to provide ID and wear a badge identifying themselves but passed on pursuing a formal investigation.

However, after training poll workers under the new guidelines, word came down from the Secretary of State's Elections Division that those new protocols had never been approved by their office, contrary to statements made by City Clerk David Rushford. The Election Commission held a last minute meeting prior to the November general election to make sure the City was in line with state laws, and, other than long lines, Election Day went off without a hitch.

It's still not clear how the mix-up occurred, but Rushford maintained that there was never any intention to withhold information on his part.


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