Election Recount Set for April 22

Select Board Candidates Bacci, Murphy and Herrick at the RCTV Forum in March

Reading, MA — In the closely watched local election in, two recounts have been ordered after initial results showed a razor-thin margin of victory for one of the candidates.

The election, held on April 4, was for two seats on the Select Board. There were three candidates in the race, including incumbents Karen Herrick and Carlo Bacci and challenger Melissa Murphy. The candidates had been locked in a fierce campaign for weeks leading up to the vote.

Initial results showed Herrick and Bacci winning, with Bacci having a five-vote lead over Murphy. On Thursday, Murphy filed a recount petition to request a recount, citing concerns over the accuracy of the vote count.

In addition to the Select Board recount, a second recount has been filed by Brian Curry for the Library Board of Trustees election.

Library Board of Trustees Terry, Popp, Curry and Verrier at the RCTV Forum in March

The results of the Library Board of Trustees contest showed incumbent Monette Verrier and newcomer Christian Popp winning over Brian Curry and Michael Terry.

The April 22 recount, which is expected to begin at 9 am, will be conducted by a hand count for each precinct and take several hours to complete. Town Clerk Laura Gemme, told the Post representatives from all three campaigns will be present for the recount, as well officials from the local Board of Registrars.

The Post reached out to Murphy, who shared, “So many people worked on my campaign and came out to vote, I just felt like I needed to follow it through to the end.” She also stated that many states require automatic recounts when the percentages between candidates are as close as they were on April 4. “Human mistakes happen,” Murphy concluded. “I am not sure what to expect.”

Brian Curry told the Post, “Given the Select Board race was so close, I support the request for a hand recount to authenticate the results.  Since a recount was already taking place, I requested to simultaneously participate. Authenticating the local election results via a hand recount, will further reinforce confidence in our town election process, and I am appreciative that I have been allowed to partake,” Curry said.

“Our job is to ensure that the process is consistent with Massachusetts General Law,” said Town Manager Fidel Maltez. “I have full confidence in Laura [Gemme] not only in leading an election but in a successful recount process.”

Political observers across the town will be watching closely to see how the race ultimately plays out and whether or not there will be a shift in the membership of the Select Board and the Library Board of Trustees.

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