BOSTON (CBS) – A judge has agreed to Secretary of State William Galvin’s request to allow cities and towns more time to count ballots that were submitted on time Tuesday, but not tallied by the end of the night.
“We are still breaking down the numbers, but what I can tell you is we clearly broke a record yesterday,” said Secretary of State William Galvin on Wednesday.
Galvin said he sought court authorization to make sure the process remains transparent.
Galvin’s Office has reached out to the leading democrats in the 4th Congressional District race where it is still too close to call.
“We are instructing those clerks to count the ballots in a public setting tomorrow,” Galvin said. Each city or town will have to give three hours notice before the counting begins.
The town clerk of Wellesley notified the Elections Division that her staff will be counting the remaining ballots that were received by 8 p.m. Sept. 1 and have not yet been counted on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 9 a.m. The count will take place in the Great Hall at Wellesley Town Hall.
Franklin and Newton will also continue counting ballots Thursday morning. The public will be able to watch from a distance.
Jake Auchincloss has the lead over Jesse Mermell.
“Well, the 4th district, we’re canvassing every result at this point. Every city and town – we know many ballots were received late in the day. Any results that you’re seeing now are unofficial,” said Galvin.
Jesse Mermell’s campaign said it was pleased with the Secretary’s request to secure and count the ballots, saying, “We believe it is incumbent on all communities to be clear about how many ballots are outstanding, including ballots that arrived as polls closed, so that we can have the utmost confidence in the end result.”
“Every vote in the Massachusetts Fourth received before 8 p.m. last night must be counted,” Jake Auchincloss said.
Attorney Lauren Goldberg’s law firm represents more than a hundred municipalities in Massachusetts, and she’s also an expert on election law.
“Certainly, every election official wants to ensure all ballots that were properly returned were counted,” Goldberg said.
She said state election laws are very restrictive, which is why the secretary of state needed to step in.
“In this case, once the election ballots were sealed, they couldn’t be reopened without involvement with action from the Secretary of State’s Office or a court order,” said Goldberg.
The winner will face GOP challenger Julie Hall.