SJC expounds on decision to allow Brady campaign to continue

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – Republican congressional candidate Helen Brady’s campaign will be required to destroy the data voters submitted when they signed her electronic nomination papers, the state’s highest court said Monday.

As part of its decision last month allowing Brady to run in the Ninth Congressional District against U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, the Supreme Judicial Court announced that Brady’s team and the independent vendor they used, VenueX, must provide written certification within 30 days that they no longer have any personal information stored from the 1,066 voters who supplied their signatures to help Brady qualify for the ballot.

The court ruled on July 13 that Brady is eligible for the primary and general election, overturning a State Ballot Law Commission decision that effectively blocked her from the ballot because VenueX had stored voter signatures in a separate database — along with other information — and then imported them onto documents rather than providing “native” signed papers for submission.

At the time, the SJC said simply that Brady’s campaign “complied in substance” with its previous ruling that allowed the use of electronic signatures this cycle to mitigate the pandemic’s impacts.

26-page decision released Monday shows that while justices felt the process Brady and VenueX deployed “was not ideal,” they did not think the discrepancies over “native” documents or the cybersecurity concerns of storing data were enough to warrant blocking her campaign.

“The differences are insubstantial, and they cannot justify removing a candidate from the ballot and frustrating the right of voters to have a choice of candidates for elected office,” justices wrote.

Justices also jabbed at Secretary of State William Galvin’s office in their Brady decision, describing the guidance Galvin offered to candidates based on the electronic-signature ruling as “quite limited, indeed unnecessarily so.”

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