South Boston polling location gets ballots without state Senate race

Local and state officials downplayed a mishap that meant some wards in Boston were provided with a ballot that did not show the special election primary for the First Suffolk state Senate seat.

The erroneous ballots were delivered to one ward in South Boston, but city election officials recovered the faulty ballots by 8 a.m., said Brian McNiff, a spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin.

“There was one packet of ballots delivered to one of the wards that didn’t have that race on it,” McNiff said. “At no time did the precincts not have [any] ballots with First Suffolk race on it. No voters were disenfranchised.”


City election officials said that ballots that only included the US Senate race were delivered to two wards, Wards 6 and 7.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“Less than six voters were affected,” Geraldine Cuddyer, Boston’s election chairwoman, said in a statement. “This matter was addressed and resolved before 7:30 a.m. today.”

The primary election, a contest to replace John A. Hart Jr., includes three Democrats. One little-known Republican is running.

Nick Collins, a Democratic state representative from South Boston who wants to step up to the Senate, said in a statement that his campaign received a “flood” of calls this morning about ballots missing his name. He claimed that supporters called about inaccurate ballots at one-third of South Boston’s precincts.

“No person should be denied the opportunity to vote as it appears happened this morning at several polling locations,” Collins said in a statement.


Officials for Collins’s campaign could not be immediately reached to clarify whether their complaint stems from the inaccurate ballots that the city and state officials acknowledged were distributed.

Collins’s two Democratic opponents are Linda Dorcena Forry and Maureen Dahill..

Forry’s spokesman said the campaign had not received calls from supporters who were given inaccurate ballots. Officials with the Dahill campaign said that they had received calls from at least two polling locations that received the wrong ballots.

“The Collins campaign is saying just his name was left off the ballot; that’s not the truth,” said Jim Spencer, Dahill’s campaign strategist. “There were two polling places in South Boston that were delivered the wrong ballots — ballots for Cambridge — and it’s my understanding that it affected the first 15 or 20 minutes of voting.”

McNiff said election officials have not received any complaints from voters who claim to have voted using inaccurate ballots.

Wesley Lowery can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery. Todd Feathers can be reached Follow him on Twitter @ToddFeathers.