GOP’s Amore Rips Massachusetts Secretary of State Galvin For Not Sharing Voter Data With Other States

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By Matt Murphy

A day after New Hampshire’s attorney general charged a couple with voting in two states during the 2016 presidential election, Republican Anthony Amore knocked Secretary of State William Galvin for withdrawing Massachusetts from the interstate data sharing program used to uncover the voter fraud.

Grace and John Flemming, of Hampton, New Hampshire, have been indicted for voting absentee in their home state in the 2016 election before crossing state lines and also casting ballots in Belchertown, Massachusetts.

New Hampshire authorities used data shared among states through the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program to ferret out the fraud.

Amore, who is running against Galvin this cycle, said the state’s chief elections officer never should have withdrawn Massachusetts from the Crosscheck program in early 2017, which he said has left Massachusetts vulnerable heading into the 2018 midterms.

“New Hampshire authorities were able to uncover improper voting in Massachusetts, but Mr. Galvin missed this, so we have to wonder how many others he missed,” Amore said.

The head of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has said previously that it’s impossible to know how much voter fraud is taking place. “We don’t know what we don’t know. … I know that even if one person votes and takes away someone else’s vote that’s a real damage to our democracy,” he said when he introduced his 10-point election security plan.

The Crosscheck system was started by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, but some studies had found that it produced an extremely high number of false positives for duplicate registration, which raised concerns about legitimate voters being purged from voting rolls.

A spokesman for Galvin said strict laws in Massachusetts governing when a voter can be erased from the rolls meant local election officials were spending a lot of time sifting through false positives and trying to verify duplicate registrations with other states.

Galvin stopped sharing data with and using data from Crosscheck in 2017.

“We want to be part of something but Crosscheck was something that resulted in a lot of work for our local election officials and didn’t pay off with a lot of matches,” said Deb O’Malley, a spokesman in the Secretary of State’s Office.

The automatic voter registration law adopted this summer directs Massachusetts to join the newer Electronic Registration Information Center, which was developed by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

O’Malley said that provision was included in the bill at the request of Galvin, who had been advocating for Massachusetts to join the consortium of states using ERIC.

Amore, however, said Massachusetts won’t be able to use ERIC until at least 2020.

“I never would have stopped until we were able to get into ERIC, which I do agree is better, but you hate to get rid of it absent a replacement,” Amore told State House News Service.

Galvin’s office confirmed that Massachusetts still must go through a process to participate in ERIC. His campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

“So we’ll be going into this election with nothing,” Amore said. “It seems the solutions we get out of the secretary of state’s office are only after the problems are identified rather than planning ahead.”