State Officials, Not the City, Screwed Up on Charter Question Ballot Deadline
The mayor’s public records request to the Secretary of State’s office and its response yesterday reveal that city officials were never notified in time to meet a June 1 state deadline to place a proposed new city charter on the November ballot.
This revelation, of course, was not news to city officials, who have said all along they never saw deadline warnings. The proposed charter, years in the making, has been recently undergoing small charges at the state Legislature, which must approve the final version, which needs the governor’s signature before it can be legally placed before city voters.
City Clerk Wendy Mazza, who said she was outraged that state officials falsely claimed she knew about the June 1 deadline but did nothing, has put out the call for dozens of extra volunteers to staff the polling precints on election day.
Meanwhile, Mazza said, Galvin’s office owes her and other city officials an apology, after having impuned their professional integrity. “It wasn’t us,” she said today. “They were incompetent on this.”
Last week, the City Council took a first vote to hold a special election on Nov. 6 for the city charter ballot question. A second and final vote takes a second on Sept. 20.
Even if Galvin’s office acknowledges it made a mistake, Mazza said, it’s too late to get the charter ballot question on the state’s Nov. 6 ballot. Instead, voters will have to check in at two separate tables on election day, voting on the proposed new city charter separately from the state ballot.
The dual-election process will require more than 100 extra poll workers that day, Mazza said.
© 2012 Northampton Media
David Reid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org