A recount of the Ward 6 City Council seat race ballots declared Councilor-elect Martha Bixby the rightful winner Saturday.
Lisa Gordon, Bixby’s opponent, requested the recount after she came up just 23 votes shy of victory in November’s election.
At the end of the day, that gap had narrowed to 15 votes.
Per the recount, Bixby has 1,324 votes, and Gordon has 1,309 votes. There were 105 blanks and one write-in, for a total of 2,739 votes.
“Thank you to the city workers, who put in a Saturday here for us,” Bixby said after the results were read. “Thank you to the elections workers who’ve come back on a Saturday in December after Election Day, and all the volunteers from both sides who helped to make sure everything was going smoothly.”
The hand recount, held at the Newton Free Library, lasted nearly seven hours. Counters meticulously tabulated ballots while observers representing both candidates watched them with hawk eyes and attorneys threw down various objections to ballots being rejected or included.
At one point, the Elections Commission spent half an hour debating how to proceed with a ballot on which the voter filled in the circle for Gordon but wrote “Free Palestine” on the write-in line.
“’Free Palestine’ is not a candidate,” someone muttered from the Commission table.