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Clerk: Mail-In Ballots Were 'Very Large Burden On Every City And Town'

NEWTON (CBS) - Election workers in three communities spent the day counting mail-in ballots in the 4th Congressional District race.

"I think the biggest lesson for all of the state is this was a very large burden on every city and town here in the state," Newton City Clerk David Olson.

Check: District 4 Primary Results

A court order at the request of Secretary of State Wilson Galvin allowing the ballots to be processed in Newton, Wellesley and Franklin.

Election workers at Franklin High School were still hand counting roughly 3,000 mail-in ballots Thursday evening. These votes were turned in before the polls closed, but were not counted before the end of the night Tuesday.

Franklin ballot counting
Election workers at Franklin High School count ballots in 4th Congressional District Primary race (WBZ-TV)

The race is still too close to call with Jake Auchincloss leading Jesse Mermell.

Thursday afternoon Mermell stood outside Newton City Hall and said her team will fight to have every vote counted.

"We also believe based on conversations we've had with leaders in several communities that there may be even more uncounted ballots in communities across the district and that's deeply concerning to our democracy and shared goal of getting this election right," said Jesse Mermell.

Jake Auchincloss released a statement as the final votes were being counted:

"Every vote that was lawfully cast before 8PM on Election Day must be counted. I want to commend Secretary Bill Galvin and the city and town clerks who have worked hard to make this primary election, the first one in Massachusetts with mail-in voting, a success. As Attorney General Maura Healey tweeted out earlier today, "early voting and vote-by-mail WORK." This is an important example for the rest of the country, at a time when President Trump is working hard to discredit mail-in voting and make it harder for people to vote. As the final votes are being counted, we as candidates must be conscientious in allowing Secretary Galvin to take the lead and ensure that the will of the voters is heard in the 4th Congressional District."

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