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Galvin investigated petition

I AM writing to correct false information in the column ''Fraud taints antigay measure" (op ed, Dec. 22) relating to the pending initiative petition on marriage rights.

The author falsely claims that I did not investigate accusations that some voters were misled into signing the marriage petition believing that it was a petition relating to the sale of wine. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have vigorously investigated these allegations. A comparison, initiated by me of certified signatures appearing on both petitions, revealed that of the 123,356 signatures filed in support of the marriage petition only 14,288 appear on both petitions, leaving 109,068 signatures when only 65,825 signatures were needed.

Fairness, honesty, and accuracy in counting are critical in the conduct of elections. Although I personally oppose banning gay marriage because I have seen no adverse effect from it on society, I must protect the rights of voters to petition, even if I disagree with them.

WILLIAM F. GALVIN
Secretary of State
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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