Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bonifaz on his Critics

[Note to readers: I already posted my full interview with John, but it was very large and I'm breaking it up into peices. This is part 1.]

1. Some people, even in the blogosphere, have suggested you'd be better off running for the State House or Senate - that you'd be better able to enact changes from the legislative branch. How could you directly impact your issues from the office of Secretary of State?

According to Bonifaz, a lot of the issues he advocates for is specifically related to office of Secretary of State. In fact, his answer left no doubt that there's little to the belief that he can't directly impact electoral reform from office, much more so than as a state legislator. Why? "We shouldn't rely on the Bush Justice Department to enforce the law." The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was passed in 2002, a bill Galvin "is supposed to implement." However, in four years Galvin hasn't ever started the planning phases. What's the fallout? Citizens in Springfield and Boston sued - and won - the monitors that were promised in HAVA, while Galvin fought against them.

In fact, Galvin fighting against little-d Democracy was a common theme in the interview. Bonifaz talked about how Galvin ignored a mandate of his office by completely ignoring a new type of voting technology, called Votepad, which provides "equal, if not greater, access" than DIEBOLD to handicapped voters. It was more efficient, cheaper and already in use in several states - not to mention the technology came from "local creators." Bonifaz "would never consider DIEBOLD," especially after having experience in Ohio.

So... Galvin ignores local technology that's proven itself to be safe and reliable, violating a mandate, while he's currently "considering three" types of technology - including DIEBOLD - for Massachusetts. I'd be shocked that he's considering new technology at all, but at some point Galvin's going to have to comply with HAVA. There are only so many cities and towns in Massachusetts to lose to in court.

Finally, Bonifaz addressed critics head on. While some of his proposals may need to be enacted through the State Legislature, the legislature looks to the Secretary of State for guidance. Bonifaz said that when the Legislature was considering enacting Same-Day Voter Registration, Galvin "worked with Republicans" to make sure it didn't happen.

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