BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Election officials in Boston are preparing for a possible recount of ballots in the At-Large City Council race.
Candidate Alejandra St. Guillen, who lost to Julia Mejia for the fourth and final At-Large council seat, said on Election Night that she would seek a recount; Mejia said she welcomes it.
St. Guillen made the announcement shortly after midnight that night, when she was trailing Mejia by just ten votes.
Both women were looking to become the first Latina on the council and usher in the first-ever majority of women in Boston City Council history.
Now, it's up to St. Guillen to collect 50 certified signatures of registered voters in every ward she wants recounted. She has until ten days from the election, which is this Friday, to submit those signatures.
If she gets the signatures, it will be up to city election officials, with the help of Secretary of State William Galvin, to conduct the recount.
Galvin told WBZ NewsRadio's Mike Macklin that recounts aren't uncommon, but the size of this one is.
"Usually every 8-10 years there's a major recount," Galvin said. "We've had some major recounts for the State Senate in Boston. We've had any number of recounts, usually it's a smaller district. What's somewhat unusual is to have the entire city potentially being recounted."
He said this will be a significant task for election officials, who will likely conduct a hand count of all the ballot cards.
"It will require a lot of personnel to organize this recount," he said. "We'll have to find a facility that's big enough to handle it all, and then most likely, it will take several days to complete it."
Galvin said every single ballot will be examined by election officials from the city.
"But also, they'll be subject to the observers of the candidates who, if they have a question on the call on a certain ballot or a certain vote, they'll have the opportunity to have that call reviewed by the election commission," he explained.
With 66,000 ballots cast citywide, and absentee ballots from overseas which have until this Friday to be received and counted, it could be the end of the month before the outcome of the recount is determined.
WBZ NewsRadio's Mike Macklin reports