Franklin Town Clerk Resigns After 'Challenging Election Cycle'

The town clerk in Franklin is resigning after a difficult primary.

Teresa Burr, who has served as the town clerk for the past five years, said in her resignation letter that her final day will be Sept. 18.

"I am resigning to re-establish confidence with the voters of this community in their elections," Burr wrote in a letter to the town council Friday. "After the events of the past three months, this election season has been the most challenging election cycle in my career."

Amid a pandemic, this was the first primary election in Massachusetts that allowed for early voting. It was also the first election that allowed for widespread mail-in voting, without needing to qualify for an absentee ballot.

It took days to count votes in the Democratic primary for the Fourth Congressional District — the race to fill Rep. Joe Kennedy's seat.

After the Sept. 1 primary, staff from the Secretary of State Bill Galvin's office found around 3,000 uncounted ballots in Franklin. The ballots were believed to have been submitted by mail and were supposed to be sent to polling places on Election Day. Election observers told WBUR the mistake didn't appear to have any ill will, but instead the result of a stressful election season.

On Sept. 4, Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss was declared the winner, with just 2,000 votes more than the next closest candidate, Jesse Mermell.

In her resignation letter, Burr wrote that her performance during the election cycle was "not intentional, nor have I ever conspired to deprive any voter of their ability to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted as part of an election."


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Amy Gorel Senior Editor
Amy Gorel is a senior editor of digital news at WBUR.



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