With Halloween just around the corner, it seems that everyone is getting into the festive spirit of what used to be known as All Hallows Eve. However, some places are apparently a bit more serious about the holiday than others, as the state of Massachusetts has just proved.
Here is the typically blue Bay state, even the dead can vote. And no, I’m not talking about zombies or some other fictional costume anyone may choose for this year’s festivities. I’m talking about actual dead, lying six feet under, gone from this world people.
How is this possible?
Well, thanks to the COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, Massachusetts has passed a new voting rule or law. Basically, it states that if anyone votes early and then dies before election day, November 3rd, their vote will still be counted.
According to CBS in Boston, “Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin said Monday that if someone votes early in the November election but dies before Election Day, their vote will be counted. That’s a change from earlier voting rules that became necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the past, if you voted early, died and the elections officials discovered you were dead before Election Day, your vote would not be counted.”
However, it isn’t the fact that we are potentially letting the dead help decide who will govern the living that is odd or even ridiculous. Instead, the real oddity is Galvin’s reasoning for the change.
First, I must note that Galvin doesn’t even consider it a change. in fact, he describes the new rule as “not being new.” According to him, the law has always had the opportunity to count “dead” votes. And he gives a hypothetical example.
He starts by giving an instance where someone mails in a ballot a few days early, for whatever reason. Then the person dies on Election Day. The vote is obviously still counted because “there’s no chance the material determined that they had died.” Well, of course, because there wasn’t enough time before votes were counted that day to know of the death.
But that really doesn’t make the vote legal, does it? It was still an illegal vote or one that shouldn’t have counted. But because of a lack of time or real-time data, it wasn’t caught.
Well, this “new rule” makes it legal, which is most definitely a new change, at least for now. (It is important to note that because this change is due to the pandemic, it is only temporary and, therefore, will only last as long as the pandemic and its required social distancing rules do. Then again, the way this pandemic is going, who knows, it may become permanent.)
But I digress, back to Galvin’s reasoning.
The Bay State’s Secretary of State justifies this change due to the addition of 20 extra early voting days on the calendar this year.
Now, I know you are wondering how this has much of anything to do with whether their vote still counts if they are dead. After all, if a vote is illegal because of death within the ten days prior to the election, what does dying even earlier do to change this?
The fact is, it doesn’t.
The election officials would be given an even longer time to be notified of your death, and the election would be even farther away.
The good news is that, even during this pandemic, which, if the Democrats are to be believed, is killing anyone and every one, this “new rule” won’t likely apply to all that many cases. And it’s even less likely that it will change the presidential election results much, at least at the state level. As it stands now and has for the last several elections, Massachusetts finds itself squarely in the blue.
No small number of dead voters are going to change that.
However, the outcome might be slightly different when it comes to county or municipal elections, where the every-vote-counts idea is more easily seen and recognized. Talk about letting the dead speak…