Boston – Under the leadership of State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) and State Representative Gailanne M. Cariddi (D- North Adams), today the state House of Representatives and Senate enacted special legislation validating the proceedings of North Adams’ 2011 preliminary mayoral election. The legislation, H. 3741, now awaits the Governor’s final approval.
The ballots for the September 27, 2011 North Adams mayoral preliminary election erroneously instructed voters to vote for two candidates, however voting for more candidates than there are seats to be elected violates state law. As such, the four hundred and sixty ballots cast were deemed illegal.
Incumbent mayor Richard Alcombright received 1,105 votes; Ronald Boucher received 741; and Robert Martelle received 216 votes in the preliminary election. City officials deemed that the election results would not have been different if the instructions to voters were correct. On October 5th the City Council passed a home rule petition seeking validation of the election results by the State Legislature, so that the City would not be forced to hold a second preliminary election.
Cariddi and Downing filed the legislation on October 7th; it quickly gained the favor of the Joint Committee on Election Laws and approval of the full House and Senate. The Governor has ten days to review and act on this legislation.