LEOMINSTER -- State Sen. Jennifer Flanagan's campaign for re-election hit another snag recently when the ballot stickers she ordered for the Sept. 9 Democratic primary came back the wrong size.
Flanagan said Monday the error has been fixed, and the correct stickers are being distributed.
She minimized the importance of the problem.
"That's why you order test stickers -- to make sure they can go through the (ballot) scanners," she said.
Flanagan has served in the Senate since 2009 but was left off the primary election ballot because she failed to include her hometown with her street address on the nomination signatures she submitted to the state.
The Appeals Court ruled the hometown must be included after two legislative candidates had similar problems about a decade ago.
To support Flanagan's unopposed candidacy in the primary, voters can peel off a sticker, place it on the ballot under the Worcester and Middlesex Senate District header, and fill in the oval to the side of the sticker.
Flanagan said she tested the stickers in 10 of the 11 communities she represents. Berlin didn't test them because representatives for the Town Clerk's Office hand-count ballots.
The new stickers arrived Friday, which leaves plenty of time to distribute them before the election, Flanagan said.
Some supporters were asking for the stickers a month ago, but even if there wasn't a problem, Flanagan said it didn't make sense to send them out early and take a risk that they be lost.
"This is the perfect time to start sending out stickers," she said.
Rich Bastien, who recently launched a write-in campaign for the Republican primary for the Senate seat, said he ordered 2,500 stickers and also tested them to make sure they'll work.
"We did our research and made sure everything was all right," Bastien said.
Bastien served as a one-term state representative for the 2nd Worcester District from Gardner during the 2011-12 term. He said he has moved back into his childhood home in Fitchburg so he can get around the Senate district easier during the campaign.
Secretary of State William Galvin's office is specific about the size of ballot stickers that can be used for write-in campaigns. State law allows the stickers to be 4 1/2 inches by a half inch, but they need to be 4 inches by 5/16 of an inch to fit in the ballot space, according to spokesman Mike Sullivan.
Flanagan started giving out stickers while going door-to-door with U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern this weekend.
Candidates need at least 300 votes to get their names on the general-election ballot.
Voters can get the stickers by telephoning Flanagan's campaign office at 978-466-8605 or emailing her campaign at email@example.com. She's also handing them out while going door-to-door and at the polls.
Bastien has stickers available through his email, Bastien4senate@gmail.com. He's also handing them out while campaigning door-to-door.
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