One Massachusetts House of Representatives district may have had one of the closest races in modern election history.
Democrat Kristin Kassner took a one-vote lead over incumbent Republican Rep. Lenny Mirra after an election recount was completed on Thursday, according to CBS News.
A total of 23,525 votes were cast in the state House election in Massachusetts’ 2nd Essex District, according to Politico.
The recount leaves Kassner with 11,763 votes to Mirra’s 11,762.
The sitting Republican initially led by 10 votes after the the election — a margin thin enough to allow Kassner to file for a recount.
A final batch of ballots from the community of Topsfield changed the election’s outcome in the recount, with the five-term Republican incumbent losing the lead to his challenger, according to CBS.
Mirra plans to challenge election processes in the courts, pointing to a handful of spoiled ballots that could ultimately swing the election back in his favor.
“It’ll absolutely be a legal challenge,” Mirra said of his plans to to contest the election, pointing out various alleged improprieties that could potentially reverse the outcome of a contest decided by a single vote.
“Yesterday, in Rowley, they were able to use five spoiled ballots that all went to my opponent,” the incumbent said of the recount. “In no other town did they let us use spoiled ballots.”
Mirra also suspects several mail-in ballots were counted when envelope signatures didn’t match their intended voter.
“I got totally screwed in this redistricting. I lost five of my seven towns.”
“Usually, a rep district changes by maybe five percent or 10 percent,” Mirra said of his new district. “It’s an unheard-of amount of change for my district.”
Democrats increased their partisan majority in the Massachusetts House and elected a Democrat to replace departing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
Another closely contested Massachusetts House election is likely to end up in the courts.
Democrat Margaret Scarsdale leads Republican Andrew Shepherd by 11 votes in the 1st Middlesex District, according to Politico.
An ongoing recount has thinned Scarsdale’s lead from 17.
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