BROCKTON — A hand recount confirmed Ana C. Oliver will represent Ward 3 on the Brockton School Committee. She defeated Matthew Stanton by three votes, 753 to 750.
Election workers, the candidates and their supporters gathered at Brockton City Hall Tuesday morning. It took just more than an hour to count the votes again. The tally resulted in no change of the Nov. 7 margin between the two.
Oliver, a nurse with two children in Brockton schools and one who graduated from the system, thanked the voters.
“I enjoyed the time running my campaign, going out meeting people, knocking on doors, talking to parents that’s really worried, the same as me.”
Stanton took the confirmation of his loss in stride.
“This is all about the kids. Over the next few years, the next six months really, are key to the future of Brockton,” he said. “People need to get down to business now. Now, not two weeks from now. Right now. Now now.”
Tuesday’s recount was a partial rematch. In September 2021, Oliver and Stanton ran in the preliminary election to represent Ward 3. Neither made the general election that year.
The recount took place in a transformed city council chamber, with tables brought in for the election workers, campaign representatives and election officials. Participants sat five or six to a table for each of Ward 3’s four precincts. An election official would bring an envelope with 50 ballots. One person would read the result of each ballot, calling out “Oliver” or “Stanton” or “blank.”
Three ballots required rulings from the election commissioners who helped oversee the recount. In each case, they determined voter intent after discussions with the campaigns and Cynthia Scrivani, executive director of the Election Commission.
On one of the ballots, the voter had put their mark below the, according to Mary LaCivita, an attorney on Oliver’s team. That vote went for Oliver. On a second disputed ballot, officials could not figure out the voter’s intent, so that one was counted blank. On a third ballot, an election worker had marked it “spoiled” but then crossed that out and put as “provisional.” Because it was an early voting or absentee ballot, the voter could not be consulted. The ballot went through the voting machine and was counted, Scrivani said.
At the end of the recount, Scrivani thanked the participants and announced, “The results are the same.”
Oliver will join a school committee facing discipline problems at Brockton High, a teacher shortage and the fallout from an overspending scandal in which the schools went $14.4M over budget in fiscal 2023.