Ballot Drop Box Set Ablaze in 'Deliberate' Attack

Massachusetts has asked the FBI to investigate, officials say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 25, 2020 5:00 PM CDT
Ballot Drop Box Set Ablaze in 'Deliberate' Attack
This surveillance image provided by the Boston Police Department shows a man approaching a ballot drop box outside the Boston Public Library, early Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in downtown Boston.   (Courtesy of Boston Police Department via AP)

A fire was set Sunday in a Boston ballot drop box holding more than 120 ballots in what appears to have been a "deliberate attack," Massachusetts election officials said. The state has asked the FBI to investigate the fire that was set around 4am in a ballot drop box outside the Boston Public Library downtown, the AP reports. In a joint statement, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called it a "disgrace to democracy, a disrespect to the voters fulfilling their civic duty, and a crime." They said that "our first and foremost priority is maintaining the integrity of our elections process and ensuring transparency and trust with our voters, and any effort to undermine or tamper with that process must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

"We ask voters not to be intimidated by this bad act, and remain committed to making their voices heard in this and every election," they added. Boston Police said an arson investigation is underway and released surveillance images of a person near the ballot box at that time, urging the public to help identify the individual. Officers called to the scene saw smoke coming out of the box before firefighters managed to extinguish the fire by filling the box with water, police said. There were 122 ballots inside the box when it was emptied Sunday morning, and 87 of them were still legible and able to be processed, Galvin's office said. The box had last been emptied around 2:30pm on Saturday. Voters can go online to see whether their ballot was processed.

(More ballot box stories.)

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