West

Newton write-in City Council candidate comes up seven votes short in recount

Allison Sharma asked for a recount of Newton's Ward 4 City Council race.

A Newton write-in candidate for a City Council seat came up seven votes short against her opponent in a Dec. 2 recount.

Allison Sharma, who launched a write-in campaign for the Ward 4 City Council seat, lost to Christopher J. Markiewicz in the city’s general election in November.

The city initially reported Markiewicz won with 1,122 votes, while Sharma received 944 write-in votes Nov. 7, and later amended those totals to 1,125 for Markiewicz and 965 votes for Sharma.

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The Dec. 2 recount for Ward 4 held at Newton North High School narrowed Markiewicz’s margin of victory: his total remained at 1,125 votes, while Sharma collected a total of 1,118 votes, according to city clerk David Olson.

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The bulk of votes attributed to Sharma by the recount were votes placed for her in a separate race for an at-large councilor seat for Ward 4, Olson said.

Sharma ran against Markiewicz for a Ward 4 council seat elected solely by ward residents. At-large seats are elected by citywide vote.

Election commissioners generally awarded a Ward 4 at-large vote to Sharma if there was not a separate vote cast in the local Ward 4 council race.

City officials worked from approximately 8 a.m. to midnight on the Dec. 2 recount, which was drawn out partly due to the number of challenges lodged by both sides during the recount, he said.

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The challenges led the city’s four-member election commission to review hundreds of ballots by hand, he said.

Sharma previously said she decided to run after learning Markiewicz was the only candidate on the Nov. 7 ballot to replace the outgoing Ward 4 councilor, John “Jay” Harney.

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.