The Senate campaign of Democrat Martha Coakley said this evening that ballots pre-marked for Republican rival Scott Brown have been given out at several polling places across the state.
"We want all voters to be aware that this is happening, and to check their ballots carefully so that they can be counted," said Coakley's campaign manager, Kevin Conroy. "We will continue to investigate these and other reports of irregularities as we receive them."
Secretary of State William Galvin, whose office oversees elections, said there have been scattered reports of problems, but that as yet they did not amount to much. Fewer than a half-dozen ballots were affected, he said.
In Brighton and in Cambridge, he said, voters alleged they had received a ballot already marked for Brown. They were given clean ballots and the others were rejected as "spoiled," he said. "In both cases, there was no evidence of misconduct whatsoever," Galvin said.
In Beverly, three completed ballots were placed in the wrong box, but eventually retrieved and put in the right place, he said.
The Coakley campaign alleged other problems at the polls, including a group of men in a gray Cadillac it said were harassing Latino voters in Lawrence.
Brown's campaign counsel, Daniel B. Winslow, weighed in with a statement, saying, "Reports that the Coakley campaign is making reckless accusations regarding the integrity of today's election is a reminder that they are a desperate campaign ... The reality is that Massachusetts voters will determine the outcome of this election despite political attacks leveled by Martha Coakley and national Democrats."
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