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Judge denies request to take six candidates off Lynn ballot

Posted by Your Town  August 30, 2013 03:40 PM

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A Superior Court judge Thursday denied a Lynn City Council candidate’s request to remove six other candidates from the Sept. 17 preliminary election.

In denying Ariana Murrell-Rosario's request for a preliminary injunction, Newburyport Superior Court Judge Richard Welch said "there is a real question whether the requested injunction will jeopardize the preliminary election. Thus, the balance of harms favors the city.”

Murrell-Rosario filed a complaint last week, arguing that the candidates did not properly file their nomination papers for the preliminary vote.

The complaint said that five candidates running for City Council and one for School Committee either notarized their papers after the filing date or failed to notarize them. A number of the candidates did not fully complete the petition section of the nomination papers, according to the complaint.

Assistant City Solicitor James Lamanna said Friday in a phone interview that 400 absentee ballots have been mailed out, and at least 175 people have voted.

“The votes essentially would have been voided and not counted,” Lamanna said. “They would have had to be destroyed.”

Lamanna said the state does recommend that City Council papers be notarized in a certain way, but that the city never accepted the provision.

Murrell-Rosario, who is running for Ward 4, owns a tax preparation business in Lynn, Lamanna said. This is the first time she has run for a city office.

Murrell-Rosario’s attorney, Andrew Cashman, said today that he was encouraged by the judge’s comments during the hearing. “He agreed that there were compliance issues with the nomination papers,” he said.

Cashman also said that his office intends to help the secretary of the state’s investigation into alleged wrongdoing by election officials.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

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