Another surreal city election looks headed for a court challenge. This one by one vote with potentially nine votes missing.
Multiple election observers report that State Rep. Jack Hennessy has picked up six votes to take a one-vote lead on City Councilman Marcus Brown with the majority of the recount completed following last Tuesday’s Democratic primary in the 127th Assembly District encompassing the bulk of the North End.
Election observers inside the Morton Government Center say there was a pause in the recount Tuesday afternoon as election officials searched for unaccounted ballots. Essentially there’s a nine-vote difference between those tabulated in last Tuesday’s primary and those counted in Tuesday’s recanvassing.
Late Tuesday afternoon Hennessy was declared the certified winner by veteran election moderator James Mullen who observers say threw his hands up in the air asserting this one may well be decided by a judge.
The Brown campaign says there’s a discrepancy between hand-counted votes primary night and those counted on Tuesday that will go their way.
Brown is gearing up for a court challenge, perhaps arguing there’s nine votes to count that cannot be found. What’s a judge to do in that situation, especially with the slimmest of margins–one vote? It goes to the question: what happened to those nine votes counted on primary night? Were they placed in an improper bag locked in a vault?
Hennessy likely needs to win this recount because if a new election is called due to a tie, it’s advantage Brown with the Democratic political establishment throwing its full resources behind Brown in a straight-up match.
So what’s a judge to do with one vote on the line with the discrepancy of nine votes between primary night and the recanvassing?
Validate the vote or call for another election? Especially with so much on the line and nine votes in question.
In addition, statistically, it’s rare for six votes to swing in a small district recount. Yes, it can happen citywide with 30,000 more registered Democrats.