WILMINGTON, MA — According to records provided by Tewksbury Town Clerk Denise Graffeo and Saugus Town Clerk Ellen Schena, State Representative candidate Pina Prinzivalli (R-Tewksbury) only voted once before October 2017, the month she declared her candidacy for the Wilmington/Tewksbury House seat.
Both clerks provided Wilmington Apple a voter history document with identical information for Prinzivalli, who turned 18 in January 2002. It shows Prinzivalli voted once in November 2004 and not again until October 2017, the month she officially began her run for State Representative for the 19th Middlesex.
(NOTE: Graffeo confirmed the “Local Election” listed for May 7 should actually read “Local Town Meeting.”)
Discrepancy Over 2016 Election
While the Prinzivalli campaign acknowledges the 2005-2015 voting gap, they contend that their candidate voted in the 2016 Presidential Election and April 1, 2017 Town Election.
According to Tewksbury Town Clerk Denise Graffeo, her records do not indicate Prinzivalli voted in either of those elections.
The Prinzivalli campaign believes the source of the confusion may revolve around the fact that Pina changed her name on her voter registration “in August or September of 2017” so “Pina Prinzivalli” would appear on the ballot instead of “Giuseppina Prinzivalli.” As a result, the votes in question would have been cast under “Giuseppina,” not “Pina.”
Tewksbury Town Clerk Denise Graffeo states, however, that votes under both names would still be displayed under Prinzivalli’s voter record.
Graffeo points out that, according to her records, Prinzivalli did not register to vote in Tewksbury until April 3, 2017, so she would have been ineligible to vote in Tewksbury on November 8, 2016 and April 1, 2017. Graffeo provided documentation of Prinzivalli’s date of voter registration to Wilmington Apple, listed below as 04/03/2017.
Graffeo further points out that Prinzivalli did not change her name on her voter registration until February 1, 2018, not “in August or September 2017.” Graffeo provided the form Prinzivalli filled out to Wilmington Apple:
Graffeo consulted the original voter lists which her Precinct 4A election workers used and marked up on Election Day. (Her office keeps the actual lists for two years following each election). Graffeo says Prinzivalli’s name does not appear on either list.
The Response From Pina Prinzivalli & Her Campaign
Wilmington Apple reached out to Pina Prinzivalli and her campaign for comment.
Prinzivalli provided the following statement:
“I’m 34, and like a lot of young professionals, I spent my 20’s focused on building my career. During that time, I didn’t exercise my right to vote because I wasn’t feeling the pressure from an overburdensome government. However, I was awoken to the problems when I became a homeowner and began preparing to raise a family. I’ve learned and seen first hand how much government is affecting our everyday lives. The pressure to pay the bills is real for so many working families in Tewksbury and Wilmington. And when the legislature voted themselves pay raises in January of 2017, I was inspired to get active beyond just voting in elections.
Since the day I announced my candidacy last October, I’ve shown the voters what kind of Representative I’ll be, a bold voice that isn’t afraid. I’m the only candidate who had the courage to run when it wasn’t an open seat. I’m the only candidate who has worked to lower our tax burden. I collected over 800 signatures for a ballot question to reduce the sales tax and establish an annual tax free weekend. I’m the only candidate who has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. I’m the only candidate who has pledged to never vote myself a pay raise. I’m the only candidate who has pledged that if there’s ever an increase to the base salary, I will donate it to charity. I’m the only candidate who has stood with Representatives Diehl, Lyons, Lombardo, Kuros, DeCoste and O’Connell and family members who have lost loved ones to addiction, to impeach Judge Timothy Feeley. I’m the only candidate who has been outspoken since last October in my opposition to Massachusetts becoming a Sanctuary State for illegal immigrants. I’m the only candidate who has been outspoken in my support for our men and women in law enforcement. #BackTheBlue
I’m hoping I can serve as a role model to inspire more people like me to take notice, take action and get involved. I have always been a law abiding citizen and now I am a law abiding citizen committed to making a positive difference for the working families in the 19th Middlesex District.”
A Prinzivalli campaign official added:
“Pina voted in 2004 and has been a regular voter since 2016. It’s all public record. If any campaign is attempting to push a narrative that she’s only voted once, it’s a narrative that’s blatantly false.”
The Response From Other 19th Middlesex State Rep Candidates
Wilmington Apple reached out to the other Republican and Democratic candidates in the race for comment.
“This news is both shocking and yet not entirely surprising,” said State Rep candidate Erin Buckley (R-Tewksbury). “A candidate with a record of not voting is an insult to the entire democratic process. It is an unbelievable hypocrisy to ask the voters to do something on your behalf that you couldn’t be bothered to do on the behalf of anyone else.”
“It is alarming to learn that someone who is running for elected office has only participated in the process once (maybe twice) in their life [before declaring her candidacy],” said State Rep candidate Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington). “Prinzivalli didn’t feel it necessary to vote in elections, for other candidates or ballot initiatives, yet if she is elected she would be responsible for voting almost daily in the House Chamber on issues that have a real impact the lives of others.”
“I have no comment on this matter as the record is the record and stands for itself,” said State Rep candidate Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington). “I am focusing my attention on running a solid campaign focused on the issues that are most important to the 19th Middlesex District and why the voters should elect me as their next State Representative.”
State Rep candidates Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury) and Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury) declined comment. State Rep candidate Mike McCoy (D-Wilmington) did not respond for comment.
Other 19th Middlesex State Rep Candidates’ Voting Histories
Wilmington Assistant Town Clerk Linda Golden and Tewksbury Town Clerk Denise Graffeo provided Wilmington Apple with the voting histories of all eight State Representative candidates.
Once each candidate began voting, none appear to have a “voting gap” of more than one calendar year. Voting histories can be viewed below:
- Voting History for Erika Johnson, Judy O’Connell, and Mike McCoy
- Voting History for Mark Kratman, Dave Robertson, Erin Buckely and Patricia Meuse
- Voting History for Pina Prinzivalli
An Editor’s Note: More To Come
After the examination of additional records and documentation, another story has bubbled to the surface involving a different State Rep candidate. Check back tomorrow to the Wilmington Apple for that article.
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