Leominster Mayoral Recount is Underway and is Slow Going Early

November 21, 2017

LEOMINSTER -- The mayoral election recount is officially underway, but frequent objections and uncertainty surrounding voter intention could slow when residents finally learn the official winner.

Following the Nov. 7 election, incumbent Mayor Dean Mazzarella finished 211 votes ahead of write-in candidate Kenny Ricker, who requested the recount to see if any of the 326 blank ballots were intended as votes for him.

All 9,203 ballots are being counted by hand Tuesday, however some vote readers expressed uncertainty about what would count as a Ricker vote prior to the start of the recount.

“It’s going to come down to a reasonable person having to decide who the vote was cast for,” said Lauren Goldberg, an attorney with the firm KP Law, which represents the city. “You really have to use your judgment to determine the intent of the voter.”

Though readers can determine who a vote was intended for, that determination can be challenged by observers working for either candidate at each counting table. If an agreement can’t be reached, a member of the city Board of Registrars would have to intervene in determining the intent of the vote.

Roughly an hour after the recount began, frequent objections were raised regarding ballots that just had the name “Ricker” or “K. Ricker” written on them. These votes will be counted in Ricker’s favor, but Goldberg did ask that readers organize them into separate piles.

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