What we know about the Boston City Council-at-large recount

Alejandra St. Guillen spoke to reporters about her plan to seek a recount in Tuesday's City Council-at-large election. Unofficial results showed her finishing ten votes behind fourth place finisher Julia Mejia. Photo by Simón Rios/WBUR

Tuesday's election for Boston City Council-at-large ended with just ten votes separating the fourth and fifth place finishers— Julia Mejia and Alejandra St. Guillen.

St. Guillen initially conceded defeat on Tuesday night at her campaign party. But when unofficial city Election figures showed just a ten-vote margin for Mejia, St. Guillen's campaign switched up— and said they would seek a recount.

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The burden is on St. Guillen to put the recount in motion.

• Her campaign will need to collect 50 signatures of registered voters for each ward where a recount is sought within 10 days of the election.

• Boston's Elections Department will coordinate with the Secretary of State's to prepare for the recount, if St. Guillen's team submits the paperwork on time.

• What about absentee ballots? Could they tip the scales? Technically, yes. Absentee ballots from overseas have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 to be received.

In a press conference on Wednesday, St. Guillen told reporters : "With the vote margin, so, so low, you have the possibility of suppressing the vote by not having every single person counted.“

Mejia said she welcomes the recount, but that she’s already won by getting this far.

"I’ve never worked in a city government and [have] no real political backing to that extent," she told WBUR. "I think that we have won, because we have shown other people what is possible when we step into our power.”

Secretary of State Bill Galvin says he hopes the recount is complete by the end of the month.

“They have the option and most probably will ask for a hand count of the 66,000 ballots, which means ... each card will be individually examined to make sure what choices are counted," Galvin told WBUR.

This story was reported by Reporter staff and Simón Rios of WBUR 90.9FM. The Reporter and WBUR share resources and content. Rios is based out of the Reporter's offices in Dorchester.


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