Take Action to Protect Democracy in MA

Why has the new legislative session started out by undermining democracy?

On Wednesday, January 4, state legislators were sworn in for the beginning of the new legislative session in Massachusetts: the 193rd session of the General Court.

But rather than swear in 160 representatives, the MA House only swore in 158.

That's because Speaker Ron Mariano has refused to seat two Democratic women who narrowly flipped Republican districts.

Margaret Scarsdale won the open race for the 1st Middlesex district by 7 votes. The election was certified after a thorough recount.

Kristin Kassner defeated incumbent Republican Lenny Mirra in the 2nd Essex district by 1 vote. The election was certified after a thorough recount.

Rather than seat Scarsdale and Kassner, Mariano chose to delay and appoint a three-member legislative commission to review pending Republican lawsuits (Rep. Mike Day, Rep. Dan Ryan, and Minority Leader Brad Jones). This committee is operating without a formal timeline, and the House has chosen to allow Republican Rep. Lenny Mirra to occupy the seat that he lost in the interim -- undermining the will of the voters. Indeed, Mirra's lawsuit has already been thrown out in court.

Write to Speaker Mariano and his appointees that such a delay is not acceptable and that they should seat Kassner and Scarsdale promptly.

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