Steiner Wants Judge To Decide District 3 City Council Race
FRAMINGHAM – Current District 3 City Councilor Adam Steiner said tonight, November 18, that on Friday, he will file an appeal of the election result by the City of Framingham with Massachusetts Superior Court.
“Tomorrow I will formally request that this process begin,” wrote Steiner on his social media page.
On election night, November 2, the unofficial results had City Council Vice Chair Adam Steiner with 997 votes and Feeney with 995 votes.
Feeney filed for a recount last week.
On Tuesday, November 16 a recount was held and Feeney picked up 2 votes, making it a virtual tie at 997 votes each.
City Clerk Lisa Ferguson said the tie meant there was a “failure to elect.” She said that would be the official city election result “until a court decides otherwise.”
Steiner has decided he wants the courts to decide.
Feeney has request a special election be held to determine the District 3 City Councilor seat. She wants the voters of Precinct 4 and 7 to decide the Councilor.
“Honest people can and did disagree on the intent of these two ballots, and in situations like this, the recourse in addressing this disagreement is to ask a Mass. Superior Court Judge to review the ballots in question and apply their expertise in election law and procedures. The goal of this will be to clarify the intentions of those two voters and ensure that the city election results reflect the will of these voters. Tomorrow I will formally request that this process begin,” wrote Steiner tonight.
“Things are happening very quickly with the District 3 City Council election, and I want to take a few minutes to explain to you where things stand,” wrote Steiner. “The recount from Tuesday produced two additional votes for Ms. Feeney that had been read by the voting machines on November 2 as blanks. This reclassification of these two ballots at the recount on November 16 resulted in a tie. The recount was well-run with legal counsel and dedicated volunteers advocating for both candidates.”
“With the two ballots in question, the registrars were split on the intention of the voter, and I continue to believe that these two additional votes were awarded to Ms. Feeney in error. These two ballots showed votes in other races with fully filled-in ovals, but only a tiny stray dot in the District 3 City Council race oval. This type of stray dot is known in election law as a hesitation mark and is not considered a sign of voter intent when inconsistent with other votes on the ballot, which is the case here. Based on the ballots, it seems clear to me that these two voters did not wish to vote in the City Council race and a stray mark does not change that intention,” wrote Steiner.
“It is worth noting that more than 120 other District 3 voters also chose not to vote in the City Council race on November 2,” wrote Steiner.
Steiner said the “goal of this will be to clarify the intentions of those two voters and ensure that the city election results reflect the will of these voters.”
“Feeney has already requested a special election. After the judicial review of the ballots, if a clear winner was not decided on November 2, I am perfectly willing to participate in a special election. However, our primary goal is to respect the intentions of the votes cast on election day, and a judicial review of these ballots is the next step in this process,” wrote Steiner, who has served as the District 3 City Councilor since Framingham became a City.
City Council Chair George P. King Jr. has called for a special City Council meeting on Tuesday to discuss a special election.