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 A Message from the Election Commission

Preliminary Elections Results (excluding write-in's and auxiliary ballots) to be posted shortly.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Polls Open 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Election for nine City Councilors (18 candidates)
Election for six School Committee members (8 candidates)

For information about polling location or other inquiries call the Cambridge Election Commission at 617-349-4361 or visit:

Reporting Election Results on Election Night & in the days that follow

Results for the Municipal Election for City Council and School Committee will be released in three stages, as they become available:

  • Preliminary Results – Tuesday, November 8, 9:30 p.m.*
  • Unofficial Complete Results – Wednesday, November 9, 5 p.m.*
  • Official Complete Results – Friday, November 18, after 5 p.m.* 

* All times are approximate.

At each stage, two sets of results will be reported: first choice votes cast for each candidate and ranking of candidates after transfers under proportional representation.

Ballots will be counted at the Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, on Tuesday, November 8, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.  Tabulation will continue on Wednesday, November 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Count will finish with the addition of overseas absentee ballots on Friday, November 18, beginning at 5 p.m.

The public is invited to attend.

Preliminary Results Overview - Tuesday, November 8, 9:30 p.m. (time is approximate)

The preliminary results are rankings of candidates, from first to last in order of finish, based on the number of ballots scanned at the precincts. They do not include write-in’s or auxiliary ballots which will be counted the next day. Neither do they include overseas absentee ballots which may be counted up to 10 days after the election. Rankings of candidates may change as a result of votes cast on write-in, auxiliary, and overseas absentee ballots. Quota also is unofficial, based only on the total number of ballots scanned at the precincts.

Unofficial Complete Results Overview - Wednesday, November 9, 3 p.m. (time is approximate)

Fuller reporting on each round and possible new rankings will be available at the conclusion of the ballot count on Wednesday after write-in and auxiliary ballots have been added to those scanned at the precinct. Unofficial results do not include overseas absentee ballots which may be counted up to10 days after the election. . No results are final, and no candidate can be declared elected until all ballots have been counted and the Election Commission announces the official results.

Official Results Overview - Friday, November 18, after 5 p.m. (time is approximate)

A new State legislative change requires the counting of overseas absentee ballots, mailed on or before Election Day, up to 10 days following a municipal election. Final results for the November 8 election may not be available until November 18. Official results will be announced by the Board of Election Commissioners after overseas absentee ballots have been counted and added to the totals from the Count on Wednesday.

Also important to note is that voters in the City Election on November 8 will for the first time be informed of apparent errors on their ballots and given the opportunity to correct errors.  The Cambridge Election Commission instituted reforms to ensure that every vote is counted as the voter intended by taking advantage of changes mandated by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).  Ballot scanners will eject apparently incorrectly marked ballots.  When ballots are ejected, display cards inform the voters why the ballot was ejected. Voters will be given an opportunity to correct their error on the original ballot or to cast a new ballot.  If the voter does not wish to correct the apparent error, the ballot may still be entered into the ballot box and valid votes on the ballot will be counted. In no case does anyone but the voter see the voter’s ballot.

Ballots will be ejected for three reasons: 1) Duplicate Rank, which shows the same number for more than one candidate; 2) Multi-voted Candidate, which shows more than one vote for the same candidate; or 3) Ballot read as blank, where ballot either has no marking or markings cannot be read by the scanner.  In order for the scanner to read a mark, the numbered oval must be completely filled in with black pen.        

The system of ejecting over-voted ballots (examples 1 and 2 above) was implemented in the November 2004 election, as mandated by HAVA and must now be used in all federal and state elections.  The Board of Election Commissioners has extended this HAVA provision to City Elections as well to ensure that every voter has the opportunity for his or her ballot to be counted in full.


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