Ballot by Ballot, Votes Tallied As 3rd District Recount Deadline Nears
and Aaron Curtis
LOWELL -- Lori Trahan extended her lead against Daniel Koh after picking up 45 votes in Lowell’s 3rd Congressional District recount Sunday.
Trahan’s lead is now 139 votes headed into the final day of community recounts for the Democratic primary, which must be completed by 5 p.m. Monday.
“We’re very happy with the results, and we want to thank everyone, from the volunteers to the election officials and the secretary of state for how they handled this recount process,” said Gretchen Grosky, a spokeswoman for Trahan’s camp.
After the ballots had been counted, and volunteers were tasked with going through bags used by wardens from each polling precinct across Lowell, Koh’s camp expressed multiple objections to the voting tally in Lowell. The objections were placed on the record with Lauren Goldberg, an attorney with Boston-based KP Law -- the municipal law firm acting as special counsel for the city of Lowell during the recount.
The objections included a “systemic structural objection” to the voting process in Lowell, according to Kate Cook, of Sugarman Rogers, who spoke for Koh’s camp.
The recount was held at the Lowell High School cafeteria hallway leading up to the Lowell High School cafeteria that buzzed as dozens of people waited for the recount to begin on Sunday morning.
The camps most belonged to were crystal clear -- Koh’s team bore name label stickers on their chests with “Koh” written on them, and the same for those with Trahan.
“We’re so appreciative of all the grassroots supporters that are taking the time out of their busy days to make sure that every vote gets counted,” Koh campaign spokesman Justin Curtis said before the recount began.
At roughly 10:30 a.m., recount workers began filing into the center of the cafeteria cordoned off with black rope barriers.
Goldberg gave a lengthy explanation of the process to the seated volunteer counters, observers (two from each campaign), and the dozens of other observers who watched from outside the designated area.
The rules were clear, and stricter for those inside the recount area. Observers from both campaigns who stood beside each table may not speak to one another or to the recount workers and, if they do, they would be warned once and any subsequent talking would result in them being ejected. Goldberg said cell phone use was prohibited inside the recount area, and no photography was allowed of individual ballots. Throughout the day, she’d issue multiple warnings against talking, including to the entire group before the recount resumed after a short lunch break.
“The results will not be announced until after everything has been counted and reviewed,” Goldberg told the crowd. “You know people who are saying, ‘Oh, because the campaigns kind of know who voted for what the totals are,’ that’s unofficial until it’s announced and it can’t be announced til the very, very end.”
Along with members of the Lowell Election Commission, also present at the recount were city attorneys, Paul Lazour, special counsel to the Secretary of State, and Michelle K. Tassinari, director of the state’s Elections Division.
Meanwhile in the city of Lawrence and town of Tyngsboro, Secretary of State William Galvin announced Sunday that both have completed their hand recounts of Sept. 4 ballots. The recounted tally of votes in Lawrence show Koh with 871 and Trahan with 231, according to a release. The results previously certified had Koh with 870 and Trahan with 229. In Tyngsboro, there were no changes to the tallies for either candidate.
Galvin has set a deadline of Monday at 5 p.m. for all communities to conclude the recount.
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo and Aaron Curtis @aselahcurtis