Sunday, July 21, 2024

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A recount of the Nov. 5 City Council election is set to start at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Willis Moore Youth Center in the Riverside neighborhood, according to a report from an attendee at a Tuesday meeting of the Election Commission.

One-term city councillor Minka vanBeuzekom filed a petition for a recount last week after a tallying of provisional and overseas ballots left her still 13 transfer votes behind challenger Dennis Carlone, the final member elected to the council for the term starting in January. She needed 50 signatures to support her call for a petition, and she filed a certified 143.

She cited “documented inadequacies” with voting machines for wanting a hand count of the 17,743 ballots cast this year, and that count is estimated to take around two weeks with about 70 additional campaign workers.

A smaller recount in 2001 took two weeks to finish and cost the city $50,783 in today’s dollars.

“This might be two weeks. Also, in addition, we have to stop, do an election, finish up results the next day and then reconvene,” said commission Executive Director Tanya Ford on Nov. 20, referring to the commission’s need to set up voting machines and count local results in the Dec. 10 special election to fill U.S. Sen. Ed Markey’s former 5th Congressional District seat.

The commission’s preliminary rundown of how the recount will work is in this PDF of a handout from Tuesday’s meeting.

One complaint about the recount has already been heard: In addition to the 70 recount workers, there will be candidates’ lawyers and observers from their campaigns at each table – starting with 11 tables in the first two days and expanding to 27 – but the 12 Gilmore St. youth center, off a Western Avenue torn up for reconstruction, offers essentially no parking, attendees were reported to say.

This post will be updated.