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Statement Of Brookline Town Clerk Ben Kaufman Regarding Discrepancies In Voter History Records

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The following is a statement by Town Clerk Ben Kaufman regarding discrepancies in town voting records.

“Earlier this month, the Town Clerk’s Office received a request under the state’s Public Records Law regarding the voting record of a Brookline resident and candidate for state office. This request was fulfilled in accordance with the law, producing the record through the Secretary of State’s Voter Registration Information System. The Town Clerk’s Office has since been informed that individual voter histories in some elections may not have been recorded in VRIS.

“Prior to this request, in May 2021, the Town Clerk’s Office received inquiries from several Brookline Town Meeting members, including the candidate for state office, stating they had not been recorded as voting in the 2020 Annual Town Election.

“Our office immediately launched an investigation, reviewing the hard-copy voter logs used to sign voters in and out at the polls. Our review determined that vote counts were correct, but that some voters’ participation was not recorded due to a lack of post-election clerical oversight by Town staff.

“Our office corrected the data, and reported all corrections to VRIS.

“The Town Clerk’s Office also took proactive measures to improve accuracy of data collection and reporting. These steps included a review and updating of policies and procedures, new training of multiple staff members, and a rigorous procedure to ensure all data is entered correctly.

“Based on the new information related to other missed voting history data, the Town Clerk’s Office will begin a full review of available voter logs for the November 2020 State Election, 2021 Annual Town Election, and 2022 Annual Town Election. Any corrections will be reported to VRIS.

“Voter logs before the November 2020 State Election are no longer available, because those records are maintained for only 22 months under state law. Therefore, voting data from the Town or VRIS before that date may not accurately reflect a voter’s participation history.

“The Town Clerk’s Office remains committed to full and accurate reporting of voting records, and will monitor these efforts through future elections.”