Rayla Campbell Weighs In On Run For Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/12/24/rayla-campbell-weighs-in-on-run-for-massachusetts-secretary-of-the-commonwealth/

Rayla Campbell wants Bill Galvin’s winning streak to come to an end.

The Republican from Whitman (and formerly Randolph) is running for Secretary of the Commonwealth against the entrenched Democratic incumbent. Galvin has served as the Secretary of the Commonwealth since 1995 — and other than four years out of office before then, he has been an elected official in Massachusetts since 1975.

Campbell, who supports voter ID and opposes universal mail-in voting, thinks it’s time for a change in leadership to this office.

“Secretary Galvin has been in office longer than I’ve been alive and what he did keeping me off the ballot based on their opinion of the law, what’s going on with the mail-in balloting, and other people having the same kinds of things happening to them, it made me realize it was time to challenge the man who has been in control of our elections and getting Democrats in office,” Campbell told NewBostonPost in a telephone interview.

As Campbell points out, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office denied her a spot on the November 2020 general election ballot. Campbell was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s Seventh Congressional District. She ran against U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Hyde Park).

During the coronavirus-related shutdowns, Campbell was unable to collect enough signatures to make the September 2020 Republican primary ballot. She ran a write-in-and-sticker campaign in the primary to try to make the November general election ballot. The official record said that she got 1,202 votes, which was short of the 2,000 votes that state officials say she needed. But both the number of votes she got and the number she should have had to have gotten are points of contention for Campbell.

Campbell says she believes she got more votes in the city of Boston than official results show, based in part on problems election officials had in counting votes that year; city officials refused to conduct a recount. She also argues that she should have been allowed on the general election ballot by exceeding 1,000 votes in the primary, since the state’s highest court allowed candidates to make the primary ballot by submitting only half the number of signatures usually required by state statute. However, the court did not extend the lowered threshold for signatures to include votes needed in a primary.

To make it to the general election when running a write-in-and-sticker campaign in a primary, a candidate generally needs at least the same number of votes as one needs valid signatures to get onto the primary ballot. (The candidate must also be the top vote-getter in the primary race.)

Campbell is unhappy that her race was never recounted. She cited a 2020 Boston state GOP committeewoman race in the Second Suffolk District where the city found more than 150 write-in votes more than a year after the election as an example of the city’s not getting vote-counting right.

“They refused, yet they’ve shown they’ll recount other ballots — like Billy Tauro in Somerville and the state committee race in Boston,” Campbell said. “They pick and choose what they want to recount and some Republican elections, they didn’t want to touch.”

If elected, Campbell said that election integrity would be her top priority. She explained the kind of voting process she would like to see enacted.

“The rules when it comes to elections go through the office,” Campbell said. “There will be election day — of course you’ll keep absentee voting — but otherwise, you will be voting in person on paper ballots and they will be hand-counted.”

Campbell also said that if elected, she would re-design and modernize the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s web site, not price people out of public records requests, and make sure the office gave State House tours — something which hasn’t been happening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“You’re supposed to give that information to We The People,” Campbell said. “Why are they hiding information that should be given to the people? The web site is horrible. You have to dig and search. The fees, depending on what you want, are absurd. Why are you keeping this information from the public?”

She also said she would like to find a home for statues that have been removed from public spaces in Massachusetts, including those of Christopher Columbus and Abraham Lincoln.

At the beginning of the year, Campbell had planned on running for the U.S. House seat in the state’s Seventh Congressional District once again. Then, she was briefly a candidate for lieutenant governor before opting to run for Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Galvin’s campaign could not be reached for comment.

More information on Campbell’s campaign is available at www.raylaforma.com


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