LYNN — The city’s Elections Department has decided not to conduct a recount of preliminary election votes requested by former mayoral candidate Michael Satterwhite, citing, among other reasons, the fact that his petition was filed five minutes late..
Satterwhite, who filed for a recount on Sept. 20, said that he and his team went over the letter from Janet Rowe, Lynn chief of elections, and decided not to take any further action despite some disagreement they had about the content of the letter.
“Janet spelled out all of the issues that we would have with the recount,” said Satterwhite. “It won’t change the numbers.”
Satterwhite, a member of the School Committee, was eliminated from contention for the citywide election, set for Nov. 2, after receiving the lowest number of votes of the three mayoral candidates during the Sept. 14 preliminary. School Committee member Jared Nicholson received 3,220 votes, City Council President Darren Cyr received 2,593 votes and Satterwhite had 2,288.
Satterwhite said he was surprised that there were only 40 early voting ballots rejected as defective and one provisional ballot. Based on information from his supporters, he was expecting a higher number.
The letter from Rowe said that the petitions filed by Satterwhite were not in conformity with the law, were received in an untimely manner, and alleged a limited number of issues that would not affect the outcome of the preliminary election.
According to the letter, Satterwhite submitted the petitions at 5:05 p.m., missing the deadline by five minutes.
According to state law, at least one of the signatures had to be notarized from each ward in which the recount is sought. Rowe said in the letter that Satterwhite notarized the forms himself and the voters whose signatures were notarized were not physically present at the time.
“Such notarizations are not consistent with the law,” Rowe said in the letter.
Satterwhite disagreed with that.
“In 2020, the governor allowed electronic notarization, and I am a lawyer so I am not bound by the same rules as anyone that’s a notary. There are exceptions for lawyers for notarization,” said Satterwhite.
“I do want to thank the people that signed the petitions. We turned 18 signed petitions forms for the recount,” said Satterwhite. “I want people to know that I appreciate their support and I appreciate everyone’s support at this particular time.”