MA Secretary of State Investigates Voter Registration in East Longmeadow

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin is leading an investigation into allegations brought by East Longmeadow voters who say their party registrations were changed without their request.

Doug Howie is an East Longmeadow resident, and a lifelong Democrat. He says he received a letter on Monday that read:

“You’re receiving this letter because you have recently requested an absentee ballot for the September 6th, 2012 Republican primary in the town of East Longmeadow, thank you for your interest in voting in the primary.”

The problem is, Howie says he never requested a switch to the Republican party, nor did he request an absentee ballot. He claims that a dozen other registered democrats in East Longmeadow have also had their party registration changed without their permission. 

“I honestly felt that the Republican Party’s involved in this,” Howie says. “They were going to have someone go vote with my name. Why else would they do that?”

But there is no Republican primary for senate or congress in East Longmeadow this year. In a statement, state Republican Party spokesman Tim Buckley says the party is aware of the situation and that “voter fraud is unacceptable and it is our hope that this matter is resolved quickly.”

A spokesman for the state Democratic Party declined to comment on the investigation. But Secretary Galvin considers the investigation a “matter of urgent circumstance,” according to a letter written by the secretary’s head of elections to the East Longmeadow town clerk. Secretary Galvin’s spokesman Brian McNiff says there’s no evidence of similar activity elsewhere in the state.