Massachusetts State House Race Flips To Democrat By One Vote After Recount
Stickers sit on a table at Saint John the Baptist Parish in Quincy, MA on election day, November 03, 2020.
(Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

A recount in a Massachusetts State House of Representatives race put the Democratic challenger ahead of the Republican incumbent by just one vote.

Lenny Mirra, the GOP state legislator running in a newly redrawn North Shore district, says he will go to court, raising concerns about spoiled ballots and the possibility of signatures on mail-in votes not matching their envelopes.

“It’ll absolutely be a legal challenge,” Mirra said, according to State House News Service.

Democratic rival Kristin Kassner submitted a petition asking for a recount after she trailed Mirra by 10 votes out of more than 23,000 cast in the original certified results.

Data from Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin’s office, as reported by the news service, reported that Kassner picked up an additional 19 votes in the recount, while Mirra added nine across multiple towns and lost one in Rowley.

“We are not suspicious of anything that ever happened. [The recount] was just really just to ensure that, between humans and machines, we really caught every vote that was counted,” Kassner said, per the report.

The tallies from the recount, which were completed Thursday and have not yet been certified by the Governor’s Council, show Kassner with 11,763 votes and Mirra with 11,762.

Mirra, a five-term legislator, says he got “totally screwed” with the redistricting process. “I lost five of my seven towns. Usually, a rep district changes by maybe five percent or 10 percent,” Mirra added. “It’s an unheard-of amount of change for my district. It was devastating because it’s like starting all over. There was no benefit to being the incumbent because we were a complete unknown in these new towns.”

Another recount in the state’s First Middlesex District could also lead to a court battle, according to Politico. In that race, Republican Andrew Shepherd petitioned for a recount after the initial count put Democrat Margaret Scarsdale ahead by 17 votes. The deadline for communities in that district to finish counting is Saturday.

Regardless of the outcome in either race, Democrats will maintain majorities in the state House and Senate regardless, and they won control of the governorship this cycle.

These are not the only close state House races that have come out of the November midterm elections.

In Iowa, a state legislative race flipped in favor of Republican candidate Luana Stoltenberg by a thin margin following multiple recounts. Her Democratic rival, Craig Cooper, conceded defeat after a three-member board determined Stoltenberg won by a mere 11 votes.

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