Recount of November 7, 2023 Election Results
The Medford Board of Election Commissioners has received timely a sufficient petition seeking a recount of the votes cast for City Councilor at the November 7, 2023, Election. The recount is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. for the purpose of blocking the ballots, and to continue on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 9:00 a.m., and as necessary, on Sunday, December 10, 2023, for the purpose of recounting the votes cast. The blocking session will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 85 George P. Hassett Drive, Medford, MA, 02155. The Saturday recounting session, and as needed, the Sunday session, will also be held in the Council Chambers. Utilizing this procedure will facilitate the orderly recounting of ballots on December 9, 2023, and make that process more efficient overall.
At the recount, in accordance with G.L. c.54, §135, each candidate, their agents and counsel have the right to observe and inspect ballots, tally sheets and all other papers used in the recount, and to watch every individual act performed in connection therewith. It is anticipated that the following wards (W4-P2, W5-P1, W6-P2/2A, W7-P2/2A, W8-P2,) will be recounted on Saturday, December 9, 2023, and that, in the absence of substantial deviations from the reported results, it is possible that no additional counting will need be undertaken on Sunday.
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
The Wednesday session will start at 9:00 a.m., in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. There will be 10 persons who will count the ballots cast into blocks of 50. Such persons will neither read nor record any information from the ballots. The sole purpose of the Wednesday session is to ensure that the ballots are properly blocked so as to allow the actual process of recounting the votes cast to begin promptly at the start of the recount on Saturday.
Thus, on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, you may have 10 observers present at the City Council Chambers to witness the blocking of the cast ballots. Such observers will have the ability to stand within the guardrail, but, similar to the persons counting the ballots into blocks of 50, will not be permitted to read or record any information from the ballots. Note that there will also be an area in which the general public may witness the process of blocking the ballots.
At 8:30a.m. on Wednesday, the Election Commissioner and one or more police officers will move the sealed voted ballots from their secure location and take them directly to the City Council Chambers. Where the ballots will be moved from their secure location, it is preferred that the candidate, their respective attorney, or other designated representative be present to witness the ballot transfer. Please provide the Board of Election Commissioners’ office (email@example.com), by 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, with written notice of the names of anticipated observers and of the attorney or other agent who will accompany the ballots during the transfer process.
Saturday, December 9, 2023
As noted above, the Saturday session will start at 9:00 a.m. in the City Council Chambers in City Hall. Similar to Wednesday’s session, the ballots will be moved from their secure location on Saturday at 8:30 a.m., and it is preferred that you, your attorney, or other designated representatives be present to witness the ballot transfer. Thus, in order to facilitate the timely commencement of the recount, please provide the Board of Election Commissioners’ office not later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, December 7, 2023, with written notice who will accompany the ballots during the transfer process.
At the recount, in accordance with G.L. c.54, §135, each candidate, and the candidate’s agents and counsel have the right to observe and inspect ballots, tally sheets and all other papers used in the recount, and to watch every individual act performed in connection therewith. In addition to staff needed to run the recount, the Board of Election Commissioners has determined that there will be not more than 12 teams of two persons reading and recording votes cast, and one total tally clerk.
Accordingly, each candidate may designate not more than 25 observers to be present and participate in the Saturday session of the recount. Please provide the Board of Election Commissioners’ office (firstname.lastname@example.org) the names of the 25 observers by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, December 8, 2023. There will also be space provided for members of the general public to witness the recount. Be reminded that you or your attorney may certainly designate alternate observers in the event that observers cannot be present for the entire day, however, only 25 observers will be permitted behind the designated area. The general public will be allowed to watch in a different designated area.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s booklet, “The Election Recount Process,” a non-binding guide provided for the convenience of those involved in a recount, may be accessed at the Secretary’s website at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elerct/rctidx.htm. At the start of the recount, the Board of Election Commissioners will review the process for the recount as set forth in the Secretary’s booklet, allowing questions to be raised at that time by recount workers, candidates, their counsel, and observers, as well as members of the public attending the recount.
In order to assure an orderly Recount on Saturday, December 9, 2023, the following ground rules will be in effect:
- Election Materials:
- Only recount workers and the Board of Election Commissioners may handle ballots or other election-related materials.
- Candidates, their attorneys, and observers may ask for a closer look but may not touch the ballots or other election-related materials.
- Candidates, their attorneys, and observers:
- May not bring food or drink into the recount area and must silence their phones.
- Must respect the work being performed by the tally clerks and may not move around the room during the counting of ballots.
- Observers may not move from table to table during the counting of the ballots.
- Disorderly conduct and outbursts will not be tolerated. Anyone creating a disturbance will be warned once, then ejected, and not be allowed to return.
- May challenge a decision of the counters by stating the words “I protest,” but otherwise must be silent to allow workers to count ballots without distraction; if an observer has a question or needs assistance, they may raise their hand and a runner or other designee of the Board of Election Commissioners will arrange for the same to be addressed.
- Due to space constraints, we encourage candidates to share observers.
- Seating will not be provided for observers, but if you or anyone in your party require an accommodation, please contact the Board of Election Commissioners’ office (email@example.com) or notify an Elections Commissioner on the day of the recount.
- Board of Election Commissioners:
- The Board will act on any challenges to ballots brought before it; however, counsel for the candidates are encouraged to review at the counting table any ballot to which an objection is raised to determine whether to bring the same to the Board.
- Only the candidate or their attorney may present arguments to the Board of Election Commissioners regarding ballots to which objections are raised during the counting process; after the Board has had the opportunity to review each ballot at issue, the candidates (or their representatives) will be provided an opportunity to present their respective positions, with the candidate who brought the objection presenting first.
- The Board will utilize a system of ballot “slips” to account for ballots brought to it for action, and a “roster” of all action taken, by precinct, to ensure that all ballots are properly accounted for.
- The vote of the Board on any such challenge will be final, and, unless such vote results in a tie, the ballot will be counted in accord with the Board’s vote.
- Ballots Rejected as Defective/Provisional Ballots:
- Prior to the end of the recount, the Board of Election Commissioners will hold a hearing with respect to any absentee or early voting ballots received after the close of the polls on November 7, 2023, or otherwise rejected as defective, and any rejected provisional ballots.
- Other Matters:
- The Board’s jurisdiction is limited to the manner in which the votes are counted.
- Objections to other matters will unlikely be addressed by the Board.
- At the conclusion of the recount of ballots cast, such matters may be placed on the record for the purpose of preserving the same any future action.
Be advised that only the candidates, their attorneys, and those persons designated in writing as observers will be permitted to enter the recount area. Public officials and employees, excepting those working at the recount for the Board of Election Commissioners, have no legal status at the recount. Any public official who wishes to be allowed inside the recount area must be appointed as one of the candidate’s observers and may wish to first consult the State Ethics Commission concerning possible conflicts of interest. Of course, the general public may observe the recount from outside the recount area in a space reserved for such purposes.
Finally, additional guidance may be provided prior to the recount.
Please contact the Board of Election Commissioners’ office with any further questions, which questions can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.