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MA Sec State: I'll Issue Letter to Winner, Senate Must Decide About Seating

Of certification and recounts and seating.

5:05 PM, Jan 19, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he will issue a letter to the winner of the election if the win is decisive, but that the U.S. Senate must ultimately decide whether the winner is seated.

"That letter has been sufficient in the House in the two past cases for that person to be sworn in," Galvin said, referring to the two special elections over which he has presided, which placed Democrats Niki Tsongas and Stephen Lynch in the U.S. House. "That judgment, however, will be with the U.S. Senate."

Galvin noted that the Senate often upholds stricter rules about the documentation needed to be seated, but Ted Kennedy himself was seated one day after his victory in a special election in 1962.

Galvin went on to explain a bit about the recount process (fleshed out, here), should the election results fall within one half of one percent. Candidates have the option to request a formal recount, and that count can be by hand. Galvin would also have to wait for absentee ballots to be counted.

"We do not rush to judgment in Mass at the expense of the voters' rights."

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