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November 06, 2007


Ron Newman

Bruce Desmond has been here before. He lost the 1999 alderman-at-large race after a recount determined that Bill White had beaten him by one vote to finish fourth.


Fred Berman got no votes? That's funny, I know at least 3 people who voted for him.

Ron Newman

When I was at Rebekah's victory party, someone said that Fred Berman had finished second (to Jack Connolly) in Ward 6.

Surfer Dude

Irregularities. Somebody needs to investigate. Go Tony! Get that bastard!

Green Cabbie

So Ron, there's the reward for your plan to vote only Berman & White and blank Lafuente. Barring a lucky recount, it'll be business as usual on the Board. Wouldn't it have been better to get at least one new voice on there, someone who might not be fully aligned with the PDS but certainly isn't in the Mayor's pocket?

John Shea

What? We need a board that works with the mayor and knows how the BOA runs. The last thing anyone needs is another Rebeca Gewirtz running around who looks down at everyone and is too busy to talk to us in her own ward.

I wish Charlie had run harder, but I understand that he realized the PDS has the national machine and money behind them. Charlie had no shot against the leftist organizations that are supported by all these fringe groups. Too bad.

We're screwed for another couple of years in Ward 6. Figure RebeKKKah will go after Pat's job soon enough and be gone. What a cat fight that will be.

Surfer Dude

LaFuente has won. Get those bastard cheaters out of there!

Credit where credit is due

Word from east somerville says that loads of Portuguese voters circled the name instead of crossing the arrow. That sounds like intent to me.

Come on Tony!!!!!

Surfer Dude

Fucking stupid Portuguese voters! Cannot even cross the arrow!

Credit where credit is due

RECOUNT ... why is it not sunny like Florida?? At least we know that Somerville will count EVERY vote.

Wipe Out

Surfer Dude, get with it. You do not cross the arrow you CONNECT the arrow.


Voters circle the arrow instead of connecting it all the time. Some people draw a line under their candidates' name. Those things are picked up in the count on election night. They are 'unread' by the machine, but hand read that night, and, yes, the intent would be clear. But any such votes should already be counted for a particular candidate. Recounts, especially with machine voting, changes the results very little if at all.
And by the way, I'm very happy with how it turned out. Desmond happens to be one of the few people who WILL ask questions and not vote blindly. I fear LaFuente, although he's a smart businessman, might vote against the mayor every time, regardless of the issue!


"Irregularities. Somebody needs to investigate"
I know the term 'impounded' must be very scary for you, but here's the deal:
After the votes are counted, they are placed in boxes which are then sealed. When there is even the hint of a recount they add an extra measure of security, and use the word 'impounded'. It doesn't mean that they are looking into irregularities, it just means that they are protecting the ballots until the recount. End of story.....


Once a candidate requests a recount as stated by Impound there is one more step that is performed.

The City Sealer is requested of his/her services election night and when all the ballots are inside the Election Safe, a SEAL is placed on the vault and not opened until the recount date is set and the ballots are pulled from that location. A recount is not for irregularities but for candidate counts.

Does the City have a Sealer on the payroll? If not, Medford should have been called in to perform this task.


Regarding the circling or underlining of names vs. connecting of the arrows; if there is JUST ONE arrow connected for ANY candidate in ANY office, there isn't any reason for the machine to produce an "unread" (which they don't really do any longer--the "uread" ballots used to have red stripes on them and were diverted automatically into the middle bin along with the properly completed write-ins. Wardens/Clerks used to have to go through the write-ins and find the red-striped ballots, then hand count them.

In the event that a ballot is totally unreadable (due to mismarking and no arrows being connected) it would likely register as "unvoted" during casting and be rejected by the machine. Were this to happen, the worker attending the machine is SUPPOSED to simply place it in the front or "reserve" bin and mark a "+1" on the tape. The ballot is hand read and tabulated after the closing of the polls.

Thus, if a number of voters erroneously circled or otherwise mis-marked their ballots and did not connect ANY of the arrows, these would properly have to be put in the reserve bin and hand counted after the close of the polls. Their selections would not show up on the tape but would show up in the "Record of Elections" book which attests to the TOTAL vote count--both machine tabulated and hand-counted--that is sent to City Hall at the end of the evening.

I'm not sure, but I believe that when the vote count for an office is as close as the 4th and 5th place At-Large race, a recount is automatic. I could be wrong though. In any event, the need for formal impounding of the ballots is obvious.



One other thing regarding the completion of ballots for at-large;

If a voter were to connect more than 4 arrows, the machine would reject it as "over-voted". The voter would be informed that their ballot was spoiled and asked if they want another ballot. If they decline, the ballot is placed in the reserve bin and, again, so noted on the tape with a "+1". When the ballot is hand tabulated, the 5 votes for At-Large are recorded as 5 blanks since it is obviously impossible to determine the intent of the voter.



this city really s*cks. Now let's see how much our TAXES go up next year. This whole administration needs to be replaced and it really looks like its not going to happen.

Interested in Ward 1

The unofficial results on the city's website have an interesting discrepency. There are 11573 ballots cast for Ward Alderman. Yet there are only 10423 ballots reflected in the alderman-at-large race (Total of 41692 divided by 4). Are there 1150 ballots unaccounted for?

Ron Newman

A question for JAR or anyone else who knows: what does the 'Blank' total mean in the Alderman-at-Large race? If someone voted for only one candidate, does his ballot get counted as three blanks?

somerville old timer

And why do the city's unofficial election results show the write-ins and blanks for every result except the mayor?


"Interested", some people didn't use all four of their votes.

Top Flight Security

If the ballots are impounded, where will they be stored, protected, and guarded. How about the police evidence room!! Or, how about the safe in the basement of city hall? We know they will be safe there, right? It has easy access from the School hall entrance and we can certainly trust our pols and city employees, including the coppers who may be guarding the safe.

Born Here

the bottom line is more OVERTIME flooding in the DPW, PD, an Election office....This administration is "green" alright, but that means they hand out lots of CASH!!

Ron Newman

Brittain33: but don't all those unused votes get counted as 'Blank' ?

Official Election Official

If you voted for one person in the At Large race (a 'bullet'), the other 3 votes you were allotted do indeed count as blanks. The Blank total would be based on this scenario, or if someone had not voted for anyone in the At Large race (4 blanks).



They do, indeed, get counted as "blank" on the tape. That is the purpose behind giving a single At-Large candidate a bullet. It keeps all the others from accumulating additional votes. Theoretically, if LaFuente had gotten 6 more bullets, Desmond and he would have tied (assuming the 12 vote difference is correct).


Ron Newman

Thanks, JAR and Official. So what accounts for the discrepancy noted by 'Interested in Ward 1' above?

John Mullin

There were a total of 10423 BALLOTS.

AT Large there were 12057 BLANKS
5375 WHITE
12057 (BLANKS)
Total at Large = 41692

4 * 10423 = 41692.

It COMPUTES. You guys need to put away your tinfoil hats.

The bigger story should be the smear that Heller and the PDS threw at Bob Trane. That need to be investigated for election fraud.


I'll hazard a guess that the numbers, as indicated by the "unofficial" header, are not completely tabulated for the At-Large race yet. That's just a guess, however.



Well, there you have it Ron. I was a minute too soon in posting.



Here's a comment someone posted this morning on a Davis Square site: "I was on the fence in picking between Heller and Trane (Heller seemed smart and passionate; Trane has always been super responsive to my emails and worked hard to fix things I care about) but then I received the two bright orange fliers sent out by Heller's campaign in the last days. They said some nasty things about Trane, and it pissed me off that (a) Heller stooped to that level in an alderman's race, and (b) the timing of the fliers was clearly intended to make it impossible for Trane to respond to her allegations. I'd asked Heller in person to differentiate herself from Bob a week or two ago, and she didn't mention any of the things she alleged in her orange fliers. That's lame, and she lost my vote, and my wife's vote, and the vote of at least one other person I know of because of that flier."
~Could it be that the PDS gang are using the same tactics that they complain about? Say it ain't so!!!
This election should serve as a wake-up call that most people don't want their style of politics. They elected a few people by a fluke, but now the tide has turned.

John Mullin

Too lazy to put the names in (it goes Ward 1 and then space Ward 2, etc), but Ward Alderman adds up to 10423 as well.








Total - 10423

John Mullin

Well, there is a slight problem with the school committee. That one adds up to 10429! Who could be responsible? Raplh Cramden would say "NORTON!!!!".








Total: 10429

Harry StGilles

I agree with what has been said so far about that last minute mailing Rachel Heller put out. It was disgraceful. I probably would have gone with Bob Trane, but I was lukewarm on making it to the polls. Until I got home from work and saw the orange flyer in my mail. I threw my jacket back on and made sure I got my vote in for Bob and voted against any candidate the PDS endorsed.

Rachel needs to answer for that mailing and the PDS should disavow her and that mailing. That is a news story in of itself and the Somerville News should follow-up with this. There is a lot of us that are now turned completely off by these PDS tactics. Pat Jehlen better reign in her troops or she will lose support as well.



Surfer Dude, at least the Portuguese people voted, where most "Americans" do not even know what that means. For your information, 98% of the Portuguese population votes. By the way, your choice of language shows your ignorance and lack of consideration for people who contribute to this city. Did you even vote? You know, getting off your couch and going to…let me guess you were probably to busy watching the Simpsons


What did the orange flyer say?

Harry StGilles

It started on the outside in bold letters (flyer is bright orange): Bob Trane lets developers profit from our community.

Then it goes on in the inside and smears him without facts about the Assembly square development, the units that went up at 1188 Broadway and about how he used to work for a realtor who may sell those units. Then blabbering that it's ALL Bob's fault that developers built 3 units that are too expensive for low income people, etc...

It's just a total smear... outright making an accusation that he is bought and paid for by greedy developers. No proof. If they had proof I'd be more than happy to read that, but to lie and throw this out at the 11th hour? He had no chance to refute with proof those allegations. I real Karl Rove move - by the PDS. Dirty. Real Dirty. The PDS and Rachel need to answer for this.

Interested in Ward 1

Thanks for catching my error, John. Looks like I counted Ward 1 twice. Figures, right?

John Mullin

No need to thank me. Thank Microsoft excel. ;>)


They may have presented no proof that Trane is "bought and paid for by greedy developers"
but I would still like to know how someone without any income other than his alderman's salary, can transfer $26,500 of his personal money into his campaign account

Ward 7 Resident

Is it possible that Bob could have savings? I mean people did contribute money to his fund raisers as well. But maybe... just maybe... Bob had a little money in the bank or had some home equity, etc. I mean some people do have equity and cash in savings accounts. $26.5 large ain't all that much.

Though, no-proof, are you implying he stole the money? OR some developer gave it to him for some quid-pro-quo? If someone has proof that he is paid for then please toss it out. As a voter in Ward 7 I would like to know. If not, then I think you need to come up with proof before you go flinging the tar at people or cork it.

I don't know Bob all that well, but he does a good job as an alderman in getting back to people and responding. He also doesn't seem like a thief or sleaze to me. Heller and the PDS - on the other hand - proved beyond a shadow of a doubt she is a sleaze (reference: orange flyer at 11th hour).

Major Ruff Ruff

It has been around town back in the 2003 race that an envelope was handed to Traniac and after seeking legal council,(I guess one has to see if it is OK to take a cash in an envelope first), he was advised to return that envelope.

Is the second time around a charm or just a cock-and-bull story?


you people think that if a politician has some cash (bt)it must be stolen. get a life. you also think that if someone buys a house it was some kind of shady back room deal...i have an idea for you....get a job save some money and spend it the way you like..and while your doing that.. stop taking everyone elses inventory. your all over one guy (sod)for buying property and your all over another (jc) for not owning property!
bitch, bitch, bitch.

and another thing, the next time the pds candidates are running for the two rep seats and the senate seat they hold...dont vote for them. my reason is we, the real somervillians, should vote for someone who will be working where they are supposed to be working,,, at the state house...not on some local ward election.


Look at it as taking the Vinnie Ciampa approach, but without drawing two salaries simultaneously. Does that make it any better?

(As for the "real Somerville", may I suggest that it's happening right here, right now, and not the time-warped version that's existing inside your cranium?)

BTW - It certainly doesn't seem that Sciortino is shirking his statesmanly duties up on the Hill, with Jehlen's somewhat behind. But has anyone heard anything out of Denise Provost? Just wondering, she's been quiet.


hey tricky,vinnie did nothing at either job ill give you that,and vinnie was wrong!! ill give denise credit for doing it (almost) right by giving up her seat. as far as being quiet, i heard she was one of the first to congratulate jc last night at his bash at the greek church. a shocker isnt it? and theresa cardosa introduced joe,(not charlene harris as stated in the other rag)another shocker.
as far as being time-warped, well, uh... um... ...oh ..i think my next thought is in another dimension..ill get back to you later.


On the ballot, it read- Vote for Four. Well, that's wrong. A voter could vote for none or just one as I did. I voted for Tony 'with a bullet'. I didn't want to dilute my vote for him. Good luck in the recount.

Credit where credit is due

That is true Bob. It should say..VOTE FOR UP TO FOUR...but that there is another advantage for incumbents.


Congrats to Jack Connolly for topping the ballot..hard work over the years has paid off for him and the City of Somerville


Are the results of the recount out??


The recount hasn't been scheduled yet. I called Elections today about it, and was told that since it will be a City-wide recount, it will likely be a daytime (as opposed to evening) event. They're looking at Nov. 18th or thereabouts.


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