Franklin Town Clerk Resigns After Thousands of Ballots Found Uncounted

Teresa Burr said she wanted to allow voters to re-establish their confidence in elections

A woman casts her ballot.

The town clerk of Franklin, Massachusetts, announced her resignation Friday evening, referring in her letter to the nearly 3,000 ballots that were found uncounted in the state's recent primary election.

Teresa Burr's resignation letter, effective Sept. 18, was shared by the town after 8 p.m. Friday. The letter, addressed to the town council, said she's stepping down allow voters to re-establish their confidence in elections.

"I want to assure every resident that my performance over the last few months for this election was not intentional, nor have I ever conspired to deprive any voter of their ability to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted as part of any election," Burr wrote. "Any oversights that I made during this election cycle are due to the many challenges this election has brought upon myself."

Franklin was the last community in the 4th Congressional District in Massachusetts to announce the results of the primary on Sept. 1. Burr had initially told state election officials there were far fewer mail-in ballots to be counted, leaving the remaining ones to be tallied days later.

Auchincloss pushed back against characterizations that he is a centrist candidate, saying he is a "pragmatic progressive."

Jake Auchincloss was ultimately declared the winner of the race to fill Rep. Joe Kennedy's seat; he defeated challenger Jesse Mermell by just over 2,000 votes.

Thomas Mercer, chairman of Franklin's Town Council, accepted Burr's resignation while offering a statement of his own.

"I want to assure the voters of Franklin that our current Town Clerk office staff, in conjunction with assistance from the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s team, will conduct a flawless election in November and beyond," Mercer said. "While the events of the past two weeks have certainly caused some concern in town, I am confident in the ability of the Town Clerk office staff, our election workers, and collective town staff to support them as they work tirelessly toward November."

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