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State House Race Flips By One Vote After Recount

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Massachusetts State House Race Flips to Democrat by One Vote After Recount

A recount of a Massachusetts state House seat changed the result to give the Democrat candidate a one-vote election victory.

Incumbent Republican state Rep. Lenny Mirra had a 10-vote lead over Democratic opponent Kristin Kassner. Mirra received 11,754 votes, Kassner 11,744 votes, and all others received 11 votes, according to certified results from the commonwealth’s website. There were also 646 blank ballots submitted out of the total of 24,155 ballots cast during the midterm election.

Kassner requested a recount be held for the newly drawn district based on the slender margin of votes separating her from the incumbent. After recounting the votes, the outcome changed with the Democrat edging the Republican by one vote.

The recount was completed Thursday but has not been certified by the the Governor’s Council yet, according to a report in The Daily Wire. The new vote tally has Kassner ahead of Mirra 11,763 to 11,762.

“We are not suspicious of anything that ever happened. [The recount] was just really just to ensure that, between humans and machines, we really caught every vote that was counted,” Kassner said.

Mirra said he plans to challenge the recount, extending uncertainty about who will represent the newly drawn North Shore district, according to a WGBH report.

Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA) and the Governor’s Council will meet Wednesday to consider recertification, the report noted.

Mirra explained that attorneys for both candidates “challenged or questioned several dozen votes” during the recount. That is important since state election law only permits ballots protested during a recount to be  challenged in court.

“It’ll absolutely be a legal challenge,” Mirra said.

The incumbent blames a drastic redrawing of the North Shore district he has represented since 2013 for the close nature of the election.

“I lost five of my seven towns,” Mirra explained. “Usually, a rep district changes by maybe five percent or 10 percent. It’s an unheard-of amount of change for my district. It was devastating because it’s like starting all over.”

“There was no benefit to being the incumbent because we were a complete unknown in these new towns.”

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