Friday, July 12, 2024

120613i ranked resultsThe City Council election looked largely unchanged Friday as election commissioners finished the first round of a recount from the Nov. 5 election: Challengers Dennis Carlone and Nadeem Mazen were still counted as having among the top nine No. 1 votes for the nine-member council and incumbent Minka vanBeuzekom, who called for the recount, was listed 11th.

After a week of dozens of temporary commission hires hand counting ballots, she lost a No. 1 vote, according to Election Commission data released around 11 a.m. Friday and tweeted by independent journalist John Hawkinson. Incumbent Leland Cheung, the only candidate who achieved “quota” in Cambridge’s proportional representation form of voting – meaning he got enough No. 1 votes to be ensured election – gained one.

There were other changes to individual counts as well, with incumbents Tim Toomey and Denise Simmons each winning two new No. 1 votes. Incumbent David Maher saw the most difference in the recount, losing four top votes.

Five ballots were added to the total count, but only two were deemed valid, according to the data.

The results so far parallel a 2009 recount of a School Committee race, in which a handful of found ballots changed without affecting the results of the election. A 2001 recount also failed to change the results of who was elected. But in many communities, a difference of less than 1 percent in vote results – vanBeuzekom was 13 transfer votes behind Carlone in an election now known to have some 17,745 ballots cast – would bring about an automatic recount; vanBeuzekom had to petition, bringing in 143 valid signatures although she needed only 50.

The next phase of the recount will see replica ballots printed and compared by eye with Cheung’s ballots from last month. The count, expected to last at least another week, is at the Willis Moore Youth Center at 12 Gilmore St. in the Riverside neighborhood.

The count has to pause Tuesday for the commission to run a special election to fill U.S. Sen. Ed Markey’s former 5th Congressional District seat. The candidates are Democrat Katherine Clark and Republican Frank Addivinola. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.