, Salem, MA

Local News

November 19, 2013

Ward 6 recount set for Monday

SALEM — The Ward 6 ballots from the Nov. 5 City Council election will be recounted Monday, Nov. 25, 4 p.m. at City Hall.

The date was set last night by the city’s Board of Registrars, after Councilor Paul Prevey requested a recount.

Newcomer Beth Gerard upset Prevey, the Ward 6 councilor since 2006, by 16 votes on Nov. 5.

Prevey’s recount request, filed at City Hall last week, raises questions of possible voting irregularities.

City Clerk Cheryl Lapointe said last night that Prevey has not spoken to her about why he’s seeking a recount.

“No one has spoken to me about what they thought happened, or didn’t happen (on election day),” she said. “... (Prevey’s reasons) don’t quite make sense to me, but that’s OK. We’ll go through the (recount) process.”

Gerard was at last night’s Board of Registrars meeting; Prevey was not.

Prevey has not responded to phone or email messages from The Salem News seeking comment since election night.

The official Ward 6 results from Nov. 5 show Gerard with 483 votes and Prevey with 467. Five ballots had write-in candidates, and 46 were left blank.

“Councilor Prevey has been the steward for Ward 6 for several years and has achieved many wonderful accomplishments,” Gerard said in an email to The Salem News. “I respect his right to pursue a recount, as we agree that honest and fair elections are a priority. I believe that our tireless volunteer poll workers have distributed accurate voting results, but if the recount shows that Councilor Prevey was the winner of the election, then I wish him the best in his next term. I worked hard to earn the majority of votes in Ward 6 to become the next councilor, and I hope that the recount will confirm that.”

Lapointe said she did not see any voting problems in Ward 6 on Nov. 5, nor did she receive reports of any from the polls.

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