Clerk quits in town where delays held up results for 4th District congressional race

“I am resigning to reestablish confidence with the voters of this community in their elections."

–AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File

FRANKLIN, Mass. (AP) — The clerk of Franklin, Mass., the town where delays in vote counting held up primary results for days and state officials found 3,000 uncounted mail ballots, has resigned.

Teresa Burr, town clerk in the Boston suburb, formally submitted her resignation over the weekend. The Secretary of State’s office had said it found the ballots when it intervened.

Burr said her last day would be Friday. She denied any wrongdoing, writing: “I am resigning to reestablish confidence with the voters of this community in their elections.”

The Sept. 1 primary was Massachusetts’ first to allow early voting, and because of the coronavirus pandemic, a record 1 million voters mailed in their ballots — overwhelming a few cities and towns. Burr, Franklin’s clerk for the past five years, called it “the most challenging election cycle in my career.”

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Other communities managed to count and tabulate that crush of absentee and mail ballots within 24 hours, but it took Franklin until early on the Friday after the Tuesday primary to post results. The delay left the results of a crowded race for an open congressional seat in question for three days.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s office said the 3,000 ballots were supposed to have been sent to polling places on election day.

Jake Auchincloss, a city councilor in suburban Boston and a former Marine, won the Democratic runoff to fill the U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Joe Kennedy III, defeating Jesse Mermell by just 2,000 votes.

Burr said her town’s election glitches were “not intentional, nor have I ever conspired to deprive any voter of their ability to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted as part of an election.”

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