By; Tom Duggan – June, 2012
Former Methuen Mayor and Democrat candidate for State Senate in the Massachusetts First Essex District race, Bill Manzi, called into “Paying Attention!” with Tom Duggan and co-host Paul Muranao on WCAP radio 980AM to talk about where he stands on the issues facing Massachusetts Voters.
The First Essex District covers Amesbury, Haverhill, Merrimack, Methuen, Newburyport, North Andover (precincts 1, 4, 6 & 8), and Salisbury, MA.
Manzi talked about a variety of issues including what he called an “ideological belief that there is voter fraud going on” and balked at taking a strong stand on voter identification during elections.
Manzi made several references to the new Florida law which is attracting attention since Governor Rick Scott ordered the Secretary of State to create a process to purge ineligible voters from the rolls. Manzi said he clearly sees the process as an ideological form of “suppressing votes”.
At a time when voters are demanding more accountability in the fairness of their elections, more Democrats in Massachusetts are reluctant to support voter ID. The week before Manzi called into Paying Attention! with Tom Duggan, Diana Dizoglio called into the show to talk about her candidacy for state representative. Dizoglio, also took a pass on saying she would support voter ID. Her Democrat opponent Representative David Torissi has a long record of supporting government services for illegals and also does not support the anti-voter-fraud measure.
On his own political views Manzi told the WCAP listening audience “I think everybody stands in sort of a singular file right now in terms of stopping voter fraud. But at the same time I would not be in favor of laws like Florida just passed, which seems designed to suppress voter turnout. There is a fine line to walk there. And it’s my view that we ought to be looking at just making sure that the process is honest and fair and those people that are voting are the ones that should be voting.
We’ve seen efforts throughout the country to pass laws that actually discourage people from voting”.
Manzi added “I’m running in a Democratic primary and we do not support efforts that suppress voting. And what we want to do is make sure we share the goal that everyone that votes is eligible to vote and is the person they say they are.”
Manzi said if he is elected he would hit the ground running with what he believes would be the best solution for voter fraud. He would bring in the city clerks along with other stakeholders (some third party stakeholders), some Republicans, and get together and come out with a prescription to solve the problem.
He said he is open minded at this time as to what the solution would look like, but turned down without delay host Tom Duggan’s suggestion to support a bill that came before him which simply states that it be mandatory for poll workers to ask for proof of an ID for someone to vote.
Of the concerns cited, Manzi said that he would require evidence of fraud, city clerks didn’t want more work dumped on them without funding to pay for it, constituents don’t want to pay for the extra efforts, and that voter turnout would be suppressed because of the longer wait times at the poll booths.
Manzi pleaded for more investigation about the process. He said he is concerned that we would be throwing “the baby out with the bath water” and is intent on performing meaningful legislative work before a permanent solution is put into effect.
“As a former mayor, if I were able to get to Beacon Hill I would tell you that the local folks do not like, and should not like mandates being imposed from above without payment, without any direction on how the problems are going to be solved,” Manzi said.
He then said he would make sure “we do not put restrictions on voting that drives turnout down or makes it harder to register, young voters, new voters, and that should be a goal we share.”
Manzi believes that only legal citizens should be able to vote and that there have been “any number of irregularities in elections held throughout the world over the past 50 years.” That doesn’t mean that “we put in a system that drives down the ability to register voters. The way to stop duplicitous votes is to have a system that is honest that doesn’t allow double voting that doesn’t allow ineligible voting. I’m in agreement with all of that and I don’t disagree if in the end it’s a voter ID requirement that works and isn’t onerous. I wouldn’t say that I wouldn’t support that.”
Bill Manzi has a website at www.BillManzi.com. His facebook page is Bill Manzi for State Senate. The Twitter account is @billmanzi.
He will be having a fund raiser on June 11th at DiBurro’s in Haverhill, MA at 6 PM. He encourages people to contact him with any questions via e-mail at email@example.com.
Paying Attention! airs on Saturday’s from 10-noon on AM 980 or 980WCAP.com. You can listen to previous programs on the podcast link at valleypatriot.com.