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(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Lawrence, Mass.) - Under police guard, behind a combination locked door, and sealed with signed tape like a crime scene are the ballots from more than 15 thousand Lawrence, Mass. voters.
As election workers poured feverishly over dozens of provisional ballots Wednesday under the watchful eyes of representatives from both mayoral campaigns, the city waits to officially learn who its next mayor will be.
City Councilor Daniel Rivera has claimed victory in the race, as the unofficial results show he’s 60 votes ahead of embattled incumbent William Lantigua.
"There’s an administrative process going on right now, we’re not trying to get involved with that, if the mayor thinks it’s in his best interest to do something about that, that’s fine, I don’t think it’s in the city’s best interest," Rivera said.
Lantigua and his attorney have said they haven’t decided yet whether they’ll ask for a recount, saying they’re still awaiting the official results.
"The process is still going, the election department has not yet formalized an opinion as to make the elections final," Mayor Lantigua said.
And voting machines from all 24 precincts are being examined as Lantigua’s camp alleges serious problems are the polls.
Lantigua's election counsel Sal Tabit said, "City-wide there were issues of jammed machines and we’re not sure if in the jamming of those machines certain votes were or were not counted."
Lantigua declined to speak for himself when I asked whether he would concede if the final tally shows he had fewer votes than his challenger.
"I’ll answer that, the mayor wants every vote to be counted, I think that everyone in Lawrence wants every vote to be counted, if the process is followed, if it’s done legally the results are what they are," Tabit said.
Councilor Rivera says he’s pretty certain he’ll come out on top and called for Lantigua to begin the transition of power.
"He has my number, if he’s ready to call I’m sure he will, I’d be glad to take his congratulations," Rivera said.
By state law, if either candidate wants to request a recount, they need to do so within 10 days of the election.