If I was a more cynical man I’d say this was the the deciding factor:
With observers from the U.S. Department of Justice in Southbridge looking to ensure the integrity of the ballot process…
Additionally people from the secretary of state’s office, Empower Massachusetts,and the Tea party were on hand to keep an eye on what was going on.
Democrats only had a single seat in play, as opposed to races that they were worried about up and down the ballot so a clean election isn’t expensive, but consider; even with two ringers independent candidates in the race Durant wins by 56 votes as opposed to 1.
Republican Peter J. Durant of Spencer last night ended state Rep. Geraldo Alicea’s tenure at two terms with an apparent 3,325-to-3,269 victory in a special election for the 6th Worcester District House seat.
Independent Peter J. Boria of Charlton placed a distant third with 1,275 votes, but finished second in his hometown. Independent Robert J. Cirba of Spencer had 71 votes.
That’s each candidate’s total vote in November. That means that 5234 fewer votes were cast than last time around.
Now I suspect there was some funny business going on last fall, but I’m pretty sure that it didn’t amount to 39% of the total vote.
Even if we rashly assume that every one of the votes for the two ringers independent candidates would have gone to Durant that means that 1916 Durant voters didn’t show up and 3309 Alicea votes didn’t show up.
If you are a democrat unhappy with this result but didn’t vote yesterday, blame yourself. If you are a Durant supporter who voted in November but stayed home yesterday all I have to say is, you’re damn lucky.