Secretary of State William Galvin has taken over the East Longmeadow town clerk's office, saying a preliminary investigation has confirmed claims of potential voting fraud.
Galvin said Wednesday his office will directly supervise the 2012 elections and voter registration practices in the western Massachusetts town. He said an investigation found an influx of forged absentee ballot requests and hundreds of individuals whose voter affiliation was changed from Democrat to Republican in town voting rolls without their permission.
Galvin said his office's main goal is to ensure that the absentee ballot requests and registration changes are corrected by the Sept. 6 primary. He said the case has been referred to Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni.
Messages were left for Town Clerk Thomas Florence, who has said his office discovered ballot "irregularities" and was working with state investigators.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press