Elections 2020

Mass. Cities Increase Security Following Ballot Box Burning in Boston

The measures come after a ballot box was burned in Boston's Copley Square

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Communities in Massachusetts are increasing security measures after a ballot drop box in Boston was set on fire over the weekend.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has called on communities to have personal security at all drop boxes or to lock boxes for the night. Galvin says he's concerned about the potential for more damage to ballot boxes.

Charred mail was found inside a mailbox on Boylston Street in Boston, Monday, near the area where a ballot box was set on fire early Sunday morning. It is unclear whether the two incidents are related.

In Framingham, police officers are now stationed at their two drop off locations in addition to 24-hour surveillance.

The city is also urging voters to return vote-by-mail ballots as quickly as possible in the drop boxes or at the City Clerk’s Office. Boxes are being emptied multiple times a day.

“That’s part of my responsibility to ensure that every person willing to cast a vote it can be done and it can be done safely,“ said Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer.

Some Framingham voters say they have found the increased police presence reassuring.

"This is our democracy and we all have the right to vote, and after voting we want if you be fair, so when I came and saw the police officer here if felt really good," said Framingham resident Aparna Kumar.

Cambridge will increase the police department’s monitoring of the boxes and will also increase the frequency they are emptied. Ballot boxes there will now be locked from 8 p.m until 7 p.m.

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