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Mass. Secretary Of State Bill Galvin On President Trump's Claims Of Election Fraud10:17
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Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin speaks during a press conference at the State House to provide information on the Sept. 1 primaries and an update on early voting and voting by mail turnout. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin speaks during a press conference at the State House to provide information on the Sept. 1 primaries and an update on early voting and voting by mail turnout. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Early voting starts in Massachusetts on October 17. But in some places around the country, voting is already under way.

Meanwhile, President Trump is trying to cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process.

Responding to a question about the security of mail-in voting and his repeated claims that it will likely lead to a fraudulent election during Tuesday night's debate, Trump claimed that states are "not equipped" to handle the increase in mail-in ballots. And, he added, "They cheat."

Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin, however, says the president's claims about the dangers of voting by mail are "unfounded."

"The only thing fraudulent here are [Trump's] comments," he says.

As for whether the state is equipped to handle it, he points to the recent Massachusetts primary, which he says was a success despite record turnout and over 700,000 mail-in ballots. Though he's spoken with Gov. Baker about increasing funding for his office ahead of the election, he's confident the effort won't be overwhelming.

This November, Galvin anticipates Massachusetts will best its previous record turnout for a general election: 3.3 million people in 2016. Over a million Massachusetts residents have already applied to vote by mail, he says, but many of those may choose to vote in-person when election day arrives.

If they do choose to vote in-person, Galvin says residents will find "very safe" polling places.

"We're going to great lengths to make sure that the polling places, as they were in the primary, are very safe, spacious, made sure every protocol is being followed."

The results of the election may not come in for at least a few days after the election. While the state will count all in-person ballots and mail-in ballots received by election day that night, Galvin says the count won't be official for another ten days — three for ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 but received before Nov. 6, and another week for absentee voters overseas, including U.S. service members.

"We've never had a challenge like this before in terms of the amount of mail," Galvin says. "Am I optimistic that we can meet it? I believe we can."

This article was originally published on September 30, 2020.

This segment aired on September 30, 2020.

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