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2007 Note: Anthony Galluccio was victorious on Sept 11, 2007 in the Special State Senate Democratic Primary and in the Special State Election on Oct 9, 2007 for the seat vacated by Jarrett Barrios. Anthony has publicly stated that, although his name is still on the City Council ballots, he will not accept a seat on the City Council now that he has been elected to the Massachusetts State Senate.
Though Anthony Galluccio's name will still appear on this year's City Council ballot, it is advisable to not cast a vote for him. If Anthony were to be elected anyway (even though he has not campaigned), his successor would have to be determined via the highly problematic vacancy recount procedure using only those ballots that were used to elect him.
It is preferable to have all nine councillors who will actually serve be elected at the same time on Election Day.
The main flaw in Cambridge's vacancy recount procedure for determining a replacement is that the last candidate counted out in the regular election has a significant disadvantage in a vacancy recount. In other words, among defeated candidates who do well, doing better hurts your chances of succeeding a candidate who vacates his or her seat.
Ironically, the last time this phenomenon
occurred was in the 1994
vacancy recount that elected Anthony Galluccio to succeed Bill Walsh.
Anthony finished 12th, Ed Cyr finished 11th, and Jim McSweeney finished
10th in the original
election. Because Galluccio was counted out earlier, he was able to
transfer many votes (270) to Walsh which brought him close to the election
quota, and only 225 of his ballots were "exhausted." When
McSweeney was later counted out, he was able to transfer only 274 votes to
Walsh before he reached quota and was elected, but 1384 of his ballots
were exhausted and many, perhaps most, of those exhausted ballots would
have been transferable to Walsh had McSweeney been counted out earlier.
When Walsh's seat was vacated, Galluccio was able to get back all of his
ballots which had been transferred to Walsh, and this provided Galluccio's
margin of victory in the vacancy recount. This led to a lawsuit which went
all the way to the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court.
This phenomenon (known among election experts as a "monotonicity violation") can potentially happen in a vacancy recount in any Cambridge municipal election. Indeed, David Maher would have been the replacement for six of the nine councillors elected in the 2005 election, and Sam Seidel would have been the replacement for the other three councillors using the existing vacancy recount procedure. In contrast, if each vacating councillor had been ineligible to receive ballots in the original election and the election run using the same ballots (essentially re-running the election as if the vacating candidate wasn't there), Seidel would have been the replacement for six councillors and Maher would have replaced three. In each of the three potential vacancies that switched, it is precisely the fact that Seidel finished ahead of Maher in the original election that causes him to be disadvantaged in a vacancy recount. Had Maher finished ahead of Seidel, it would have been Maher who would be disadvantaged.
Bottom Line: Vote only for candidates who will actually serve, even if you have nothing but positive feelings for a candidate.
|Page last updated October 27, 2007||Cambridge Candidates|