Amy Leos-Urbel: More local coverage needed on election issues 

  • The Shutesbury ballot box. FILE PHOTO

Published: 10/6/2022 6:09:52 PM
Modified: 10/6/2022 6:05:36 PM

On Sept. 19, the New York Times reported that Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl’s campaign would not affirm that he would abide by the outcome of November’s election. I did not see any mention of this disturbing news in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The next day I read in the Boston Globe that after the controversy sparked by the Times report, Diehl stated that he would in fact accept the outcome of the state election and would not break the law to protest the results. But Diehl — who is on record as saying that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump — went on to say that when news media outlets ask whether a candidate will accept the outcome of an election, they are asking them to “blindly accept the result of an election before it happens.” Hasn’t our constitutional tradition of the peaceful transfer of power rested for more than 200 years on candidates committing in advance that they would accept the results?

Another Massachusetts election concern: On Sept. 18, the Boston Globe cited Shutesbury as an example of Massachusetts towns where municipal officials have been “bombarded” with public records requests demanding voting machine tapes and serial numbers, copies of digital ballots, and file names, all related to the November 2020 presidential election. This is part of a nationwide effort, backed by election deniers who claim that Trump is the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. In Massachusetts, local city and town clerks are responsible for elections. They are required by law to respond to each request, including this current wave, which Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin says, “often demand documents that do not exist, slow down elections officials, and hinder preparations for the upcoming Nov. 8 election.” I haven’t seen any coverage of either of these stories in the Gazette. These are real threats to democracy, right here in Massachusetts. We need to a pay attention to them, and we need the Gazette to cover these important issues consistently and in depth.

Amy Leos-Urbel


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