NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 8, 2013

Gray calls on Kezer to concede race, halt recount process

Mayor forges ahead with effort to have ballots recounted

AMESBURY — With all ballots and votes accounted for, Mayor-elect Ken Gray has begun his transition into office and is calling for Mayor Thatcher Kezer to concede the race.

City Clerk Bonnijo Kitchin said all ballots have been counted and Gray’s two-vote victory will be considered final unless a recount determines otherwise. She said any absentee ballot received would be rejected for being too late, and all overseas ballots were received by Election Day and included in the tally.

Gray won by a 2-vote margin in Tuesday’s election, 2,092 to 2,090. The results won’t be certified and made official until after Nov. 15 at 5 p.m.

Kezer has said he will contest the results and has already begun raising money and collecting signatures to do so. A date for the recount has not yet been set, as there are several steps that must be fulfilled before the actual count takes place.

Gray said that as painful as it might be, the best thing for Amesbury would be for Kezer to gracefully step aside. Gray argues that dragging out the process would further divide the community at a time when it needs to be united.

“You can see it on the message boards and blogs, everything is lighting up. It’s not good, and I can’t stop it, but he can,” Gray said. “I understand it; if I were in his position, I’d be anguished, but at some point you’ve got to rise above it.”

Gray said that despite the close outcome, he is confident the results will stand in a recount due to the high accuracy rate of the optical scanning technology used in Amesbury’s voting system. He has already begun reaching out to people in town who can help ease the transition so that when he takes office in January, he can hit the ground running.

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