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Over 200 Uncounted Ballots Found In Grafton Town Clerk's Vault After Local Elections

An official in a Massachusetts town has found more than 200 uncounted early-voting ballots in the town clerk's vault a week after the election, throwing the passage of an override vote into question, authorities say.

Grafton Town Administrator Timothy McInerney told the select board Tuesday the sealed box containing 202 uncounted ballots was discovered by accident in the vault on Tuesday by the assistant town clerk, according to The Telegram & Gazette.

Upon discovering the ballots, Town Clerk Kandy Lavallee immediately contacted the town administrator and the state elections division.

Lavallee is "deeply regretful" for the mistake, McInerney said.

McInerney noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic thousands of residents chose early voting to avoid crowds at the polls.

The town must ask a Superior Court judge for a court order to unseal the box and have the election workers count the votes by hand, McInerney said.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Grafton Town Clerk's office said it would implement measures to prevent another instance of uncounted ballots, and promised to "find a suitable independent organization to investigate and provide a report of the facts of the case to the community."

The discovery called into question whether the passage of the Proposition 2 tax cap override by 98 votes will stand.

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