Friday, September 29, 2006

All In -- Second Suffolk

Democracy in the express lane...

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Mitchell J. Sikora Jr. ruled this morning that Second Suffolk voters (and all of us) get the benefit of a full recount of the sticker/write-in ballots. Apparent loser candidate Sonia Chang-Diaz' crew managed to get enough votes to force recounts in 8 of 10 wards. Rather than extend the deadline, Sikora said to count them all.

Chang-Diaz' attorney, William McDermott sued yesterday claiming that because the initial recount had not settled the first set of uncounted ballots until last Friday, she didn't have the full time to seek 50 qualified voters in each ward. She had the weekend and Monday until 5 p.m.

He said "case was 'a terribly unusual situation' and an issue of 'public confidence in the accuracy of the election.'"

Heading into today's recount of about 25,000 ballots, Chang-Diaz is 692 votes behind incumbent Senator Dianne Wilkerson. Two other candidates, Democrat John Kelleher and Republican Samiyah Diaz, whom the winner will face in November's general election have a few hundred votes each. Diaz ran on both party tickets, apparently as a spoiler for Chang-Diaz.

This is actually a victory for democracy with the recount. With the allegations of incompetence and poll workers not knowing how to or refusing to count the non-automated ballots, the whole Second Suffolk district was called into question.

We won't ask again why Mayor Menino and Secretary of State Galvin didn't insist on a full recount first. Good on Judge Sikora.

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