Thursday, 4:30 PM
Recount faster but not completed in senate race between Wilkerson and Chang-Diaz
By Matt Viser, Globe Staff
The counting quickened this afternoon in the recount of the state senate race between Sonia Chang-Diaz and seven-term incumbent Dianne Wilkerson, but election workers still had two of the ten wards left to count at 5:30 p.m.
Set up throughout the room on the 8th floor of City Hall are 15 tables of six people – two city poll workers counting ballots, and two representatives from each campaign looking on and registering frequent objections.
A lengthy protest kept one table at a standstill for nearly an hour because a voter had written "State Senator Dianne Wilkerson" in black ink, but it was in the wrong spot on the ballot.
Earlier this week, Chang-Diaz, who placed 692 votes behind Wilkerson, got enough signatures to require a recount in most of the district's wards, and a judge ruled yesterday that the city had to recount all of the votes cast in the Sept. 19 primary.
But by noon, few of the 73 precincts had been counted. City officials were unsure what would happen if the process was not finished today.
The recount will involve hand tallying most of the 25,000 ballots cast in the primary. The Democratic Senate nominee will face Samiyah Diaz, a South End Republican, in the general election. The 10 wards consist of Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, Chinatown, Fenway, Roxbury, the South End, and parts of the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Dorchester, and Mattapan.
The morning after the Sept. 19 primary, Chang-Diaz trailed Wilkerson by 141 votes when officials discovered more than 2,700 ballots that had been overlooked by election workers. A four-hour public count Sept. 21 at City Hall extended Wilkerson's victory to 692 votes of 12,933 votes cast.