Petition Filed to Protest Count on Cable TV Vote

The Cambridge Election Commission announced yesterday it will recount on November 30 the votes cast in this month's referendum on cable television, which passed by only 102 ballots--or less than 4 percent of the total number cast.

The referendum on November 8 gave Cambridge the right to set up an independent commission to compete with private companies for the city's cable franchise.

The Process

But because the margin of victory was so small, the New England Cable Television Association (NECTA) which opposes municipal handling of cable TV, petitioned to have the votes recounted.

"With such an extremely close result, we want to make sure the count is correct," said lawyer Walter H. Mayo III, who represents NECTA.

Through its local affiliate, Cambridge Citizens for Risk Free, Quality Cable, NECTA last week obtained the required 110 signatures--10 from each of the city's 11 wards--to submit the petition.

Record Turnout

With 30,000 residents voting, "It was the largest turnout ever--a 16 percent increase over the last election," said city cable coalition spokesman Stuart N. Brotman, adding. "But if only one additional vote in each of the precincts were recounted in our favor, the referendum would have been defeated."

Brotman explained that his group did not have any plans to resume its campaign against the city commission should the vote stand "We'll just wait and see."