Lawrence, Mass. residents weigh in on unresolved mayoral election

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November 7, 2013, 8:04 am
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(NECN: Justin Michaels: Lawrence, Mass.) – More than 24 hours after the mayoral election in Lawrence, Mass., people there still don’t know who their new mayor is.
Unofficial results show City Councilor Daniel Rivera as the winner by a very slim margin.
Current Mayor William Lantigua isn't giving up just yet.

Security at the City Hall says nothing has changed overnight regarding the mayoral election.

People in Lawrence are all talking about the mayoral election. Those we spoke with all seem to agree on the same thing.

One person said, “Lantigua, He don't do nothing right."

Another said, "The votes were counted and the votes were right."

Another person said, “Willy should do the right thing and concede."

The election was won by a very small margin of just 60 votes, but the incumbent candidate won't stand down.

Lantigua said, "The process is still going, the elections department has not yet formalized an opinion as to make the elections final."

Lantigua is reluctant to claim defeat in the election.

His opponent, Rivera, believes he has won the election fair and square, and has gone as far as beginning a transition office.

Rivera believes if Lantigua asks for a recount, that would not be in the best interests of the city.

Rivera said, "There is an administrative process going on right now and we are not trying to get involved with that. The mayor feels like it's in his best interests to do something like that, I don't think it's in the city's best interests.”

More than 15,000 people voted and it's come down to that small lead for Rivera. However there is some question from Lantigua's side about issues with some of the ballot boxes.

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."

City elections staff, under the watchful eye of people from both campaigns are going through provisional ballots and checking to make sure all the I's are dotted and T's are crossed on this elections process.

Tabit said, "If the process is followed, if it's done legally, the results are what they are."

Under state law, both sides have just 10 days to ask for a recount. There is no word from the Lantigua camp if that request will come.

Tags: massachusetts, Lawrence, election, recount, Mayor William Lantigua, Justin Michaels, City Councilor Daniel Rivera
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