Newton’s Ward 6 Council seat race heads to a hand recount

It turns out Newton’s 2023 municipal election isn’t over yet—at least not for Ward 6.

The race for the Ward 6 Council seat in which Martha Bixby won against Lisa Gordon competed to fill the seat of Councilor Brenda Noel (who didn’t run for reelection) was pretty close. Bixby got 1,310 votes, and Gordon got 1,287.

That’s a difference of 23 votes—less than one percent of the 2,696 ballots cast in the Ward 6 race—and now Gordon is requesting a hand recount.

That recount is set for Dec. 2, at 9 a.m. in the Newton Free Library’s Druker Auditorium.

Gordon’s petition makes several allegations, including that ballots meant for Gordon were counted as blanks or as Bixby votes and that people voted who weren’t legally allowed to vote (which would be voters fraud).

Recall petitions require at least 10 signatures. Gordon’s has 15 signatures, including two from her own address—her husband, Ken, and another name that’s not legible—in addition to several people in her neighborhood.

The election was dominated by the Village Center Overlay District rezoning plan, with three incumbents who supported the plan losing their seats and a slew of anti-VCOD candidates winning seats on the City Council.

Gordon was the only candidate opposing the rezoning plan to lose in the Nov. 7 election. Both Gordon and Bixby are allowed to have representatives monitor the recount on Dec. 2