Legislative Candidate Side Stepping Election Law
The Fiscal Alliance sent Secretary of State Bill Galvin a letter today, bringing to his attention the possibility that Meghan Kilcoyne, a candidate for the 12th Worcester District in the House of Representatives, currently held by state Representative Harold Naughton (D-Clinton), may not meet the constitutional residency qualifications for election to that office in November 2020.
The letter calls on Secretary Galvin to investigate this matter and provide his conclusions publicly at the earliest opportunity. The Massachusetts state constitution requires that representatives have been inhabitants of their district for at least one year “immediately preceding” their election, which this year occurs on November 3, 2020. To meet this constitutional requirement, all candidates must have been inhabitants of the district since at least November 3, 2019. While Ms. Kilcoyne’s website indicates that she currently lives in the district, the state’s voter registration rolls—which are public records—indicate that as late as December 2019, Ms. Kilcoyne was still registered to vote in Cambridge. Those same public registration records indicate that Ms. Kilcoyne did not register to vote in the district until January 2, 2020.
“The constitutional residency requirement is not a burdensome one or partisan one. Hundreds of candidates comply with the law each election cycle without difficulty. Fundamental fairness entitles all candidates to a level playing field, particularly with respect to provisions deemed so important that they have been enshrined in the Massachusetts Constitution,” stated Paul D. Craney, a spokesman for the Fiscal Alliance Foundation.
“If Secretary Galvin finds that Ms. Kilcoyne is ineligible to run, the voters of the 12th Worcester district will feel relieved that both major parties already have declared candidates, guaranteeing a contested general election. The issue is simply one of ensuring that the election rules are enforced uniformly and without favor, regardless of candidate or party” continued Craney.
“The State Constitution puts a lot of weight toward residency. You can imagine how it could be abused. There is no question that the constitutional residency requirement for the House is both intentional and means what it says, given that—in sharp contrast—no equivalent constitutional residency requirement exists for the state senate,” Craney said.
“All citizens of the 12th Worcester are entitled to be confident when they go to the polls that every candidate seeking to represent them in the General Court is legally qualified to do so,” Craney concluded.
The Foundation provides legal assistance in order to promote among other things, transparency in government. The letter was signed by Foundation Chair, Danielle Webb, Esq., Gregory Barros of Clinton, Bob Finlay of Boylston, Bonnie Johnson of Boylston, Stan Marcinzyck of Clinton and Brad Wyatt of Boylston. A full copy of the letter may be found by clicking here.
A copy of her voter information file is available here.
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The Fiscal Alliance Foundation promotes individual liberty and greater fiscal responsibility and transparency in government for a better New England, through education and legal assistance.