Feeney Won’t Appeal to Courts; Wants Voters To Decide District 3 Council Seat in Special Election

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Updated at 11:07 p.m. with Steiner statement posted on social media. Report first posted at 7:07 p.m

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FRAMINGHAM – Earlier today, a recount was held in the District 3 City Council race between City Council Vice Chair Adam Steiner and SIFOC Vice Chair Mary Kate Feeney.

On election night, November 2, the unofficial results had Steiner with 997 votes and Feeney with 995 votes.

Feeney filed for a recount last week, and today, November 16 a recount was held and she picked up 2 votes, making it a virtual tie at 997 votes each.

City Clerk Lisa Ferguson said that the tie meant there was a “failure to elect.”

The lawyer for Steiner, during closing remarks at the recount, was challenging one ballot still.

City Clerk Ferguson said “this is the result until a court decides otherwise.”

Steiner or Feeney could appeal the election result to Massachusetts Superior Court.

If no appeal, then there will be a special election to elect a City Councilor for 2 year in District 3, which is Precinct 4 and 7, said City Attorney Chris Petrini.

Tonight, Feeney issued a statement, in which she said she will not appeal and seek a court decision. She wants voters to decide who will be the next District 3 Councilor.

SOURCE reached out to both Steiner and Feeney for statements.

“Wow. When I filed a petition for a recount, I wanted to ensure every vote was accurately counted in precincts 4 & 7 in District 3. Voting is a critical part of our democracy, and this election has clearly proven that every vote counts,” said Feeney in her statement. “I want to thank my supporters, the City Clerk’s Office, Town and City Clerks from local communities, and others, who participated today in this process. Your professionalism and focus on doing what is best for Framingham means a lot to me and our community. It is proof that, yes, as a community we can come together and get the job done.”

“Five new votes were counted today: two for me, and three blanks. After the ballots were hand counted by area Town and City Clerks, the Steiner campaign took an unusual step of comparing and questioning the signatures on the applications for absentee ballots with signatures on returned ballots. In the end, the recount ended in a tie: 997 votes for me and 997 for the two term Vice Chair of the Council. The official results declared a failure to elect,” said Feeney in her statement.

“What does this mean? There are two routes here: 1.) Vice Chair Steiner can appeal these results to the Superior Court, which will result in more legal expenses for our campaigns, and potentially further delay in an election of the District 3 Councilor; or 2.) a runoff campaign, putting this decision back in the hands of the residents of District 3, not the Massachusetts Judicial System,” said Feeney in her statement.

Steiner posted this statement on his social media page “The likely next step in the process is for the two ballots that were shifted from being counted as blanks to being counted for Ms. Feeney to be reviewed by the courts. That should result in a determination about the final outcome of the November 2nd election. If not, we’ll look to the next step advised by the court to break the tie, and we will certainly abide by the court’s and the City’s decision. Much as I respected Ms. Feeney’s request for a recount, I similarly want to make sure every i is dotted and t is crossed as we move forward in the process.”

“From day one my campaign is about change. It is about building a Framingham we are proud of for future generations. Framingham’s traditional ways of operating no longer serve us as a community. We need a new generation of councilors who are ready to be innovative and take action to make our city a better community for everyone and stop kicking the can down the road,” said Feeney in her statement.

“I know my message to reform the way we do business was heard loud and clear. You said yes to change. You know the old guard is frightened. A runoff election puts the status quo at risk. What is at stake here is what is best for our neighborhoods, not a rehash of old insider arguments and feuds. My work is not finished. I am going to continue to forge ahead. I hope you will continue to join me, and together we must work hard to make the change we want to see in our city. Onward,” concluded Feeney in her statement.

Steiner thanked the volunteers who were observers for him in his social media statement and concluded his statement online with “I care deeply about my hometown of Framingham and our community’s future. Thank you for sticking with me as we see this process through to its conclusion!”

editor

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