PRESS RELEASE: SIGNATURE ISSUE OR SIGN OF THE TIMES?
Massachusetts Legislature Puts Political Opponents In A Precarious Health Predicament
HALIFAX, MA -- During the Coronavirus pandemic, political partisanship has become a tactical weapon to protect incumbent legislators on Beacon Hill. Political campaign committees in Massachusetts are facing a dilemma - health related and politically – and being forced to fulfill Massachusetts election law requirements, which only the Massachusetts Legislature can change.
Political campaigns in Massachusetts are required to submit registered voters’ signatures to local Town Clerks by April 28, 2020 for certification; then all certified signatures are required to be submitted to Secretary of State, William Galvin’s Office by May 26, 2020 in-order to be placed on the Massachusetts Primary Ballot. However, the practice of collecting signatures runs counter-intuitive to Governor Charlie Baker’s mandated state-wide public health order to ‘stay-at-home’.
The Massachusetts Legislature voted to delay the March 31, 2020 Special Elections until
May 31st and June 2, 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic; However, the legislature failed to vote and delay the campaign nomination signature gathering and certification process which has put political campaign committees in a precarious health predicament.
“Using a global public health pandemic, to effectively deliver incumbency protection is unconscionable,” stated Summer Schmaling, Republican candidate for State Representative in the 12th Plymouth District. “The Massachusetts legislature is invoking ‘blind liability’ putting candidates in a precarious health predicament by forcing them to gather nomination signatures when ‘social- distancing’ and ‘stay-at-home’ orders by Governor Baker are officially in place to protect society’s most vulnerable.”
Meanwhile, news reports emerged Monday morning that Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner, Monica Bharel, has tested positive for COVID-19 and as of April 1, 2020, the number of Coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts has risen to 122 with a total of 7,738 confirmed cases.
Summer Schmaling continued, “Political candidates want the Massachusetts legislature to do the right thing and delay the nomination signature deadline until it’s safe to complete the process. Our campaign wants to protect the public as this is a public health issue, not a political weapon to be used to protect incumbents in the Massachusetts Legislature.”