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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Candidate calls for Framingham clerk to resign

FRAMINGHAM

Republican Nicolas Sanchez, an unsuccesful candidate for the 6th Middlesex House seat, is calling for the Framingham town clerk's resignation over several allegations of problems with the Nov. 7 election.

Democrat Pam Richardson, vice chairwoman of the Framingham School Committee, won the six-way write-in race for the seat left vacant by the death last month of state Rep. Deborah Blumer. Sanchez came in second and acknowledges defeat, but he claimed at last night's selectmen's meeting that Town Clerk Valerie Mulvey did not do enough to make sure campaign literature was not left behind in voting booths.

He also took issue with the clerk's staff going behind closed doors on Tuesday night to input vote tabulations, and allowing two town selectmen to count votes at the precincts.

Mulvey acknowedged that an obscure state law prohibits selectmen from participating in vote-counting, but she said the Secretary of State's office has ruled the mistake was unintentional and "harmless." She rejected other criticisms and thanked town staff and volunteers for working through the night to tally results. The process ended after 1 a.m. on election night.

Selectmen backed Mulvey and said the vote-counting process was fair. Sanchez said he has not decided whether he will file a formal complaint with the state over the election.

-- John C. Drake

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