Has Boston Become a Banana Republic?

It would seem that ballot stuffing and vote rigging are not only the domain of third-rate banana republics (or banana Republicans in the case of U.S. Presidential elections…). In what looks like an effort to stem the momentum of popular Progressive Boston Mayoral candidate Maura Hennigan someone took it upon themself to rig a Boston Magazine online poll in favor of current Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

A probe by the magazine found that the poll was flooded with 8,134 votes that day in favor of Menino from the Argentinian Web site. According to Marcus, site owner Gabriel Schillaci said someone recently hacked the site and used an inactive e-mail account to cast the votes.

“Someone who didn’t want the votes traced to their (e-mail) address, found this address that had been hacked so that they could get in and vote using this as the address,” Marcus said.

There were also nearly 2,000 votes sent from two unknown Verizon and Comcast e-mail addresses, 428 from another provider and 57 from a Boston City Hospital account. Some accounts were apparently rigged to cast a vote every 10 minutes around the clock. All of the repeated votes were for Menino, who led the poll 70 percent to 30 percent, Marcus said.

I wonder what they are so afraid of that they would go to such lengths to rig a simple online poll? Hennigan said it best, “It makes you wonder, if they’d do something for a little poll like this, what else would they do?”

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