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Faxes pour into Galvin office

Voters' protest appears off target

Government offices are accustomed to getting bags of letters or floods of e-mail about controversial issues. But last week, it was a fax machine that went wild at Secretary of State William F. Galvin's office.

So many faxes were sent to Galvin's office -- apparently part of an Internet-generated campaign against touch-screen voting machines -- that the fax couldn't handle it, and the police got involved.

"They were asked to stop because they were clogging up the machines," said a spokesman for Galvin, Brian McNiff.

It turned out sent a barrage of faxes in the names of people who responded to a mass request it e-mailed, soliciting people to participate in the campaign on Monday. By Thursday, there was a message on the group's answering machine from the State Police, said Mark J. Floegel, an organizer of the group.

Floegel said his group is concerned because touch-screen machines do not leave a paper record of votes if the computer crashes or is tampered with.

A State Police officer could not be reached for comment. But by the end of the week, the problem appeared to have been solved. "We didn't get any today, so I guess they stopped," McNiff said Friday.

The only remaining curiosity was the reason for such a pointed campaign, since Massachusetts doesn't use touch-screen voting machines. "I think some states use them, but we don't," McNiff said.

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