The City Clerk’s office is still in the midst of determining the final ticket-topper in the at-large City Council race, which showed Councilor-elect Gerly Adrien at the top by two votes by the end of last Tuesday night.
However, in the counting of provisional ballots and absentee ballots, the race has inched closer, and Councilor Wayne Matewsky was behind by one vote to Adrien. Matewsky has topped the ticket for the last several City Elections in the at-large race, so it came as some surprise that he didn’t top it again last week.
This week, Matewsky said he believed it would end up a tie, and congratulated Adrien on a good race.
“From what I know, I believe it will end up a tie, but the votes are still being counted,” he said.
Adrien maintained that she had topped the ticket.
Clerk Sergio Cornelio said the results wouldn’t change the outcome of any of the races, but they are waiting to hear about one ballot from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The results of that last ballot could either put Adrien up by two, up by one or tied with Matewsky.
“We’re still waiting on that one ballot to determine what happens at the top of the at-large race, but none of the final counts will change the outcome of any of the seats,” he said.
• Blank Votes Equal Bullets
Apparently, an awful lot of ‘bullet’ votes were registered last Tuesday, as there were many more blank votes than in the last City Election, or in the typical Council election.
A ‘bullet’ vote is when a voter chooses only one candidate in a field whereby they could choose up to three (School Committee at-Large) or five (City Council at-Large). It is a strategy often used by die-hard supporters to keep from diluting the vote.
This time around there were 9,800 blank votes, while there were only a couple thousand in the last City Election.
City Clerk Sergio Cornelio said they often do see a lot of blanks when people do not vote for every candidate possible. If someone votes for one candidate and has the option to vote for five, that means there are four blanks.
“If you have 5,000 people come out, you have the potential for 20,000 blanks,” he said. “Some people may not even vote at all. You can put in a blank ballot and that will register a lot of blanks…There were a lot less blanks the last election. People definitely voted more for one person or only a couple of people instead of voting all five. It was definitely higher this time than in the last election.”
• Matewsky to Seek Presidency in 2021
In the 2021 Council term, Councilor Wayne Matewsky will celebrate his 30th year in office, and he said he plans to celebrate that by seeking the Council Presidency.
“I hope I can secure the votes of my colleagues to be Council President in 2021,” he said. “That will be my 30th year in office, and I hope to mark the occasion by running for president.”