By Xinming Li, bostonese.com
Boston, Nov. 6, 2017, — With the Boston Mayor and City Council elections on this Tuesday, Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) has called its members and residents of Chinatown to exercise their voting rights at polling stations tomorrow. CPA has endorsed Ed Flynn in Boston City Council District 2 election, which is hotly contested with current City Councilor Bill Linehan retiring.
Flynn’s ad on a local Chinese newspaper.
In recent days, there was witness reports of attempts to tamper with absentee ballots of elderly Chinese-speaking voters by so-called volunteers. “Some voters were even pressured into applying for absentee ballots when they would otherwise vote at the polls on Election Day,” according to a statement released by CPA.
The following is candidate list on the ballot for residents of Boston Chinatown.
Candidates for Mayor
TITO JACKSON, DISTRICT 7, PRESENT DISTRICT CITY COUNCILLOR
MARTIN J WALSH, DISTRICT 3, PRESENT MAYOR
Candidates for District Two of Boston City Council
MICHAEL S KELLEY, DISTRICT 2
EDWARD M FLYNN, DISTRICT 2 VETERAN
Candidates from CITY COUNCILLOR-AT-LARGE
MICHELLE WU, DISTRICT 5, PRESENT CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE
PAT PAYASO, DISTRICT 7
MICHAEL F FLAHERTY, DISTRICT 2, PRESENT CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE
AYANNA S PRESSLEY, DISTRICT 3, PRESENT CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE
DOMINGOS DAROSA, DISTRICT 5
ALTHEA GARRISON, DISTRICT 7, FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE
ANNISSA ESSAIBI GEORGE, DISTRICT 3, PRESENT CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE
WILLIAM A KING, DISTRICT 4
Sample ballot for District 2 (from https://www.boston.gov/departments/election)
The following is the statement by CPA.
Exercise Your Voting Rights!
By Chinese Progressive Association
Recently we have learned from many elderly Chinese-speaking voters that people came to their doors to help them apply for and fill-in absentee ballots. These people collected incomplete ballots in unsealed return envelopes with the elderly voters’ signatures which affirm their vote. Because these ballots were not sealed, it is possible that additional candidates may have been marked without the voters’ knowledge or consent. Some voters’ ballot was taken away unmarked and was only asked to sign the yellow envelope. Some voters were even pressured into applying for absentee ballots when they would otherwise vote at the polls on Election Day.
We know that some Chinese-speaking voters require assistance because it is difficult to read and complete the absentee ballot request form and the two return envelopes for completed ballots. The Chinese Progressive Association often assists voters with this process if they have difficulty with English or with reading and writing.
However, we wish to remind all voters that you have the right to privacy, to make your own ballot choices, and to ensure that your ballot is not tampered with. If you ever have a question about who to ask for help, you can always contact the election department at City Hall for unbiased help.
You have these rights when you vote absentee:
- The right to ask for help from a person of your choice or to refuse assistance
- The right to privately and independently mark your own ballot
- The right to make your own ballot choices, whether independently or assisted
- The right to seal your absentee ballot in an envelope to prevent any tampering
Neither the non-partisan Chinese Progressive Association nor the political action group Chinese Progressive Political Action would ever take away a voters’ incomplete ballot and unsealed return envelope. We fought for the Chinese bilingual ballot for more than 11 years because we are committed to protecting the right of every voter in our community to cast their ballots independently and free of unwanted interference.
Even if you have already applied for absentee ballot, if you choose to and are able to go to the polls on Election Day, you can still vote in person and your absentee ballot will be invalidated. Please be assured that Chinese bilingual ballots will be available. Chinese bilingual poll workers are also trained to ensure your voting rights, so that you do not need to rely on assistance from someone campaigning for a candidate. According to election law, campaigners are asked to remain outside the polls.
City elections are an important opportunity to make our voices heard, so we urge you to VOTE ON NOVEMBER 7 AND PROTECT YOUR VOTING RIGHTS!