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Juliette Kayyem: Better to just fess up and move on

Juliette Kayyem failed to cast ballots in 2009 and 2010.
Juliette Kayyem failed to cast ballots in 2009 and 2010.Lane Turner/Globe Staff/Globe Staff Photogra

Political candidates are only human, and voters forgive minor slip-ups like neglecting to vote now and then. Gubernatorial hopeful Juliette Kayyem (a former Globe columnist) could have simply said that, when she failed to cast ballots in 2009 and 2010, she was living temporarily in Washington, D.C., and hadn’t made provision to vote either there or in Massachusetts. Instead, asked about her voting record last week, Kayyem’s spokesman initially said she had registered in the District of Columbia during those years. But records show she never registered in Washington.

Confronted with that evidence, her campaign spokesman said that in those years Kayyem didn’t think she could vote in Massachusetts. But Kayyem surely could have figured out where she was permitted to vote. She should have just admitted to an oversight, and trusted voters to take it in stride.