Mejia declared victor in at-large recount— by a single vote

Julia Mejia is shown speaking with volunteers during her campaign for council. Dan Sheehan photo

Community activist Julia Mejia has won the recount of Boston’s at-large City Council election by a single vote. After three days of counting, the final tally was 22,492 for Mejia and 22,491 for Alejandra St. Guillen. Both are first-time candidates for public office.

“I’m glad we won,” said Dennis Newman, an attorney hired by the Mejia campaign to participate in the recount. “As I stated in my closing argument, the city did an amazing job."

The two had been locked in a tie while the city election commission deliberated over two contested ballots — one cast by a voter who had moved to Brookline, and the other cast by a Boston resident who voted in the wrong precinct. The commission decided to toss the Brookline resident’s vote and count the vote of the Boston resident, which went for Mejia.

St. Guillen’s camp said Monday night that she would announce Tuesday whether to go to court to get certain ballots counted. Campaign spokesman Alec Loftus told WBUR the campaign believes St. Guillen should have won by four votes.

“We believe that there are outstanding votes that, if contested in a court, would put Alejandra St. Guillen in the lead.”

Mejia said she welcomed the prospect of another stage in her bid to be the first Latina on the Boston City Council.

In the Nov. 5 election, Mejia and St. Guillen came in fourth and fifth place, respectively, though the margin was so close (less than 10 votes) that both candidates called for the hand tally.

The recount started Saturday morning and continued until after 5 p.m. Monday.

Boston’s interim elections commissioner Eneida Tavares said it’s exciting to have a role in the city’s political history.

“This is what democracy looks like ... and it just goes to show that every vote counts — and the importance of actually turning out,” Tavares said.

This story was published by WBUR 90.9FM on Dec. 10. WBUR and the Reporter share content through a media partnership.

Topics: