BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — After a fire was set in a ballot drop box in Boston, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has asked the FBI investigate to investigate what appears to be deliberate attack.
Galvin’s office said it was notified by the Boston Elections Department on Sunday of a fire set at approximately 4 a.m. in the ballot drop box outside of the Boston Public Library Main Branch in Copley Square.
The drop box had last been emptied by the Boston Elections Department at 2:29 p.m. on Saturday. According to an inventory by the Boston Elections Department, there were 122 ballots inside the drop box when it was emptied Sunday morning, 87 of which were legible and able to be processed.
Galvin said voters can track their ballots at www.TrackMyBallotMA.com to confirm receipt. Those who are not able to confirm their ballot status through the website, and who used the Copley Square drop box between 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 4 a.m. on Sunday are urged to contact the Boston Elections Department immediately.
Affected voters will be mailed a replacement ballot by the City of Boston, and will have the option of casting that replacement ballot or voting in person until 8 p.m. on Election Day. If any affected voter does not submit a new ballot, their original ballot will be hand-counted to the extent possible.
In a joint statement issued Sunday, Galvin and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh urged voters not to be intimidated by attempts to interfere with the election.
“What happened in the early hours of this morning to the ballot drop box in Copley Square is a disgrace to democracy, a disrespect to the voters fulfilling their civic duty, and a crime,” the statement reads. “Our first and foremost priority is maintaining the integrity of our elections process and ensuring transparency and trust with our voters, and any effort to undermine or tamper with that process must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We ask voters not to be intimidated by this bad act, and remain committed to making their voices heard in this and every election.”
In light of the concern over malicious attacks on drop boxes, Galvin has also directed all local election officials around the commonwealth to increase security of drop boxes. Galvin is urging officials to employ drop box guards and video surveillance and to empty drop boxes frequently.
(Photo: Getty Images)