Canton, MA– Kevin O’Connor today made the following statement announcing that his father has contracted the coronavirus, and reiterated his call for the legislature to act to bring ballot access law into alignment with public health recommendations:
“Yesterday, my father was hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus. He’s a tough former Marine, and despite his age, we are hopeful that he will beat it. Neither myself nor anyone in my household has come in contact with dad in nearly three weeks, and we are following his doctor’s orders to not visit the hospital at this time.
“We cannot be sure where or from whom my dad caught the virus, and my mother is currently showing no symptoms. However, my mom was one of my campaign’s signature gatherers so we are very sensitive to the possibility that petition gathering has or could play a role in transmitting the virus.
“As of Sunday afternoon, upon learning of my father’s infection and further guidance from national, state and local officials, my campaign ceased the collection of petition signatures except when they could be collected in the course of necessary personal interactions, as limited as they may be.
“Also on Sunday, we urged the Massachusetts state legislature to take action to modify the ballot qualification process to bring it into alignment with recommendations from every level of government to practice social distancing and strictly limit person-to-person contact.
“In order to satisfy the current ballot access requirements, state law dictates that millions of otherwise unnecessary personal interactions take place prior to the April 28th petition submission deadline. In the current environment, this requirement is self-evidently misguided and dangerous. Still, we have received no response to our letter, and are aware of no action or plan from the Massachusetts legislature to respond to this dire situation.
“Today, I strongly and urgently reiterate this call to action. People’s lives are at stake, and it is a total abdication of duty for the Massachusetts legislature not to act promptly to remedy this dangerous policy contradiction.”