Faced with the prospect of convening Town Meeting next week with the validity of its election in dispute, Natick selectmen opted to seek a new election and postpone the assembly.
Qualified candidates for a pair of Town Meeting precincts were inadvertently left off the March 27 ballot. While the candidates had not asked for the election to be conducted again, selectmen decided last night that it was best to re-do the election in those precincts lest someone challenge a Town Meeting action based on problems with the election. Chairwoman Carol A. Gloff said members wanted to ensure the community had confidence that Town Meeting was elected fairly.
The ballot listed 21 candidates for the 16 available seats in the two seats, combined. Candidate Jamie Magee was left off the Precinct 8 ballot and Rick Smudin's name did not appear on the Precinct 9 ballot.
Since the selectmen do not have the authority to conduct a new election itself, the panel voted to ask a court to authorize the do-over. If a judge approves the board's plan, the new election would be held May 22, and Town Meeting would follow on May 29.
-- John C. Drake
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