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Election Denial in Massachusetts

  • 0 Election Deniers currently hold statewide office with election oversight power.

  • 2 Election Deniers have held, or run for, statewide office since 2020.

  • 0 Election Deniers are sitting members of Congress.

  • 0 Election Deniers are running for Congress.

The landscape in Massachusetts

Massachusetts voters had an Election Denier on the ballot for Governor in 2022: Geoff Diehl, who had claimed that the 2020 election was “stolen from Trump” and “rigged in a way that should never happen again.” 

Diehl later backed away and acknowledged President Biden’s win. But you don’t get to flip-flop on democracy, and voters decisively rejected him in any case: Diehl lost by 29 percentage points. 

Election Deniers have caused trouble in Massachusetts even without controlling state offices, though. In 2022, local election officials were bombarded by frivolous records requests. “The requests are coming from people who are really not seriously interested in the information they’re looking for,” Secretary of State Bill Galvin told WCVB. “They’re just simply looking to poke at people who they don’t like and states they don’t like, which we happen to be one of. It just is inappropriate.”

In March 2024, Election Denier Donald Trump won the Massachusetts Republican presidential primary, part of a near-sweep of Super Tuesday nominating contests. Nikki Haley dropped out of the race one day later, making Trump the presumptive nominee.

0 Election Deniers hold statewide Office right now.

Elections are run by the states. In Massachusetts, the Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State are the state officials responsible for overseeing elections. It’s up to them to make sure the will of the people is always respected.

Read more about The Roles of Our Elected Officials in Elections

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Election Deniers

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0 Election Deniers are sitting members of congress right now.

Election Deniers make up 0 percent of Massachusetts’s 11-member Congressional delegation. Members of Congress have a public platform to build up or tear down trust in our elections. And they have concrete responsibilities, too, such as determining federal funding for elections.

Read more about The Roles of Our Elected Officials in Elections

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Election Deniers

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0 Election Deniers are running for congress in races we're tracking.

Here are the Election Deniers running in 2024 to represent Massachusetts in the House or Senate. Remember: For members of Congress elected this year, one of their first responsibilities will be voting on whether to certify the 2024 Presidential election.

Read more about The Roles of Our Elected Officials in Elections

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Election Deniers

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How Massachusetts compares

Every state runs its own elections, with its own laws and processes. Check out how Massachusetts compares with other states in its region when it comes to Election Deniers holding state election administration jobs.

Election Denial in New England States

Sitting official is an Election Denier

  1. In Maine, the Secretary of State is appointed by the legislature.
  2. In New Hampshire, the Secretary of State is appointed by the legislature.

2 Election Deniers have held, or have run for, statewide Office since 2020.

Even one Election Denier with election oversight power is a threat to the will of the people. Here are the Election Deniers who have sought control over Massachusetts elections in recent years.

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Headshot of Geoff Diehl
R
Geoff Diehl

Ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 2022

Lost General
Election Denier
Election Denial Record What makes an Election Denier
  • Taken action to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles, including:

    • Filing or supporting litigation seeking to overturn the results based on conspiracies or baseless legal theories.

    • Filing or supporting litigation that was sanctioned for being malicious or without merit in the aftermath of an election.

    • Promoting or participating in a Stop the Steal–sponsored or branded event or rally during or following the 2020 election.

    • Calling for a “forensic audit” of the 2020 presidential election or a race in subsequent elections after the results were certified, were officially audited, or stood up to multiple legal challenges.

  • Falsely claimed former President Trump won the 2020 presidential election instead of the legitimate winner, President Biden.

  • Spread lies or promoted conspiracies about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles in public, including in social media, press statements, or comments to the press.

  • Refused to certify, or called on or pressured election officials to refuse to certify, the 2020 presidential election results or a race in subsequent elections based on meritless claims about election fraud, voter fraud, misinformation, or lies.

  • Refused to concede a race, or publicly supported a candidate’s refusal to concede a race, after the results were officially audited or stood up to multiple legal challenges.

Headshot of Rayla Campbell
R
Rayla Campbell

Ran for Secretary of State of Massachusetts in 2022

Lost General
Election Denier
Election Denial Record What makes an Election Denier
  • Spread lies or promoted conspiracies about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles in public, including in social media, press statements, or comments to the press.

  • Taken action to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election or subsequent election cycles, including:

    • Filing or supporting litigation seeking to overturn the results based on conspiracies or baseless legal theories.

    • Filing or supporting litigation that was sanctioned for being malicious or without merit in the aftermath of an election.

    • Promoting or participating in a Stop the Steal–sponsored or branded event or rally during or following the 2020 election.

    • Calling for a “forensic audit” of the 2020 presidential election or a race in subsequent elections after the results were certified, were officially audited, or stood up to multiple legal challenges.

  • Falsely claimed former President Trump won the 2020 presidential election instead of the legitimate winner, President Biden.

  • Refused to certify, or called on or pressured election officials to refuse to certify, the 2020 presidential election results or a race in subsequent elections based on meritless claims about election fraud, voter fraud, misinformation, or lies.

  • Refused to concede a race, or publicly supported a candidate’s refusal to concede a race, after the results were officially audited or stood up to multiple legal challenges.

Beyond the ballot box

Each year, state legislators introduce thousands of bills related to elections. And in the past few years, we’ve identified a concerning trend. Across the country, state legislatures are considering bills that would make it easier for partisan actors to manipulate an election, and maybe even overturn the will of the people. We’re tracking these bills along with our partners in an ongoing series of reports called “A Democracy Crisis in the Making.” All told, in the 2023 legislative cycle, we identified 196 bills that were introduced in 39 states that would interfere with election administration. Ultimately, 21 of those bills became law across 15 states, while 7 bills were vetoed across 2 states.

The anti-democracy playbook is simple: change the rules and change the referees, in order to change the results. These bills go hand-in-hand with the Election Denier movement: They’re about taking power away from voters and making it harder for trusted election officials to do their jobs.

Read the full report

Legislative Interference in Massachusetts by Category

As of November 15, 2023, no bills had been introduced or were under consideration in Massachusetts. None have been enacted or adopted and none have been vetoed after passing.

  • Usurping control over election results.
    These bills would give legislators or other state officials direct control over election outcomes.
  • Requiring partisan or unprofessional election “audits” or reviews.
    These bills would establish vague post-election review schemes without the professional standards of traditional audits.
  • Seizing power over election responsibilities.
    These bills would shift election administration responsibilities away from professional, nonpartisan officials and toward partisan actors in the legislature.
  • Creating unworkable burdens in election administration.
    These bills would interfere with the basic procedures of election administration, increasing the risk of chaos and delay and enabling misleading claims of irregularity.
  • Imposing disproportionate criminal or other penalties.
    These bills would create or expand penalties for election officials in the ordinary execution of their jobs, including criminalizing inadvertent mistakes.