Monday, February 04, 2008

Massachusetts 2008 Presidential Primary Ballot Search Continues

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Garfield
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 1:59 PM
To: SEC-DL-Elections Inquiries
Subject: Please send me a sample ballot

Can you email me a sample Massachusetts primary ballot?

-----Reply Message-----
From: SEC-DL-Elections Inquiries
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 2:46:17 PM
To: Steve Garfield
Subject: Re: Please send me a sample ballot

Dear Steve,

We do not have specimen ballot available for each voter as we did for
the 2006 November General Election. We have the samples so you may see
the layout, but for specific candidates we suggest that you contact your
local city or town hall. Contact information for all the city or town
halls can be found at the following link:

If you have any further questions please feel free to email or call us
at (617) 727-2828. Thanks!

Elections Division

Next Stop:

City of Boston Election Department

I'm sure the first example I see of the primary ballot will be at the polling place tomorrow.


  1. City of Boston Election Department haven't provided a specimen ballot by email nor on the web violating public records FOI freedom of information principles.

    It's 2008, City Hall should be held more accountable for complying with public records FOI freedom of information principles and sunshine open public meetings principles of open government.

    Are advocates for change in Boston too few?... except for the Alliance of Boston Neighborhoods to promote citizen participation and communication at
    and at

    A Mayoral Directive and City Council Order are needed to address the need for more routine transmittal of city public documents to our Boston Public Library and on demand making available on the web city public documents.

  2. Data files, computer files for printing ballots are public records and can be requested from the Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, email election at

    Images of the ballots can be problematical where the content would have to be transcribed letter by letter, key by key or optical scanner.

  3. OK, why I have to request to see it via email is a problem. They should be online. End of problem.

    The state election office is a mess in my experience since the representative on the phone told me the ballot would be online, and it never was.

    You are 100% right about open documents, but things need to be fixed so they are easy to view and I do not like the city or state putting the monkey on MY back, requesting ME to email THEM to see these documents.

    I blame the media too for focusing on the presidential race and not informing me about the other races.