By Chris Camire
FITCHBURG -- State Sen. Jennifer Flanagan could be kept off the September primary ballot due to an error with the signature forms she submitted to the Secretary of State's Office.
Flanagan's signatures were disqualified because the addresses of the signatories were not included on the forms as is required by law, said Brian McNiff, a spokesman for Sec. of State William Galvin.
Flanagan, a Leominster Democrat, can now either sue to get her name on the ballot or run a sticker campaign, said McNiff. No other candidates have pulled papers to run for the Worcester and Middlesex seat.
"There are court cases that say that part of the form has to be filled in completely," said McNiff. "At the moment she doesn't have enough signatures to qualify."
Reached by phone on Friday night, Flanagan said she was informed of the "clerical error" on Thursday.
"I am assessing all of my options while I continue to represent my district," she said.
McNiff said Flanagan has hired Attorney Tom Kiley to handle the matter. Flanagan would not confirm this.
While the deadline for candidates to collect signatures was April 29, candidates have until May 27 to return them to Galvin.
State Senate candidates are required to turn in 300 certified signatures to qualify for the ballot. Flanagan said all of the signatures submitted on her behalf were ruled ineligible.
Flanagan has been in the Senate since 2009, representing Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Sterling, Westminster and Townsend. She is the vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
From 2005 to 2009 Flanagan was a state representative.
Earlier this week, former Republican State Rep. Rich Bastien, announced he did not collect the required 150 certified signatures to mount a run for state representative in the 2nd Worcester District, which covers Gardner, Ashburnham, Winchendon and part of Westminster.
Bastien, of Gardner, was elected to the House in 2010 but lost his bid for re-election to Rep. Jon Zlotnik, a Gardner Democrat, in 2012.
Follow Chris Camire on Twitter @chriscamire.