November 13, 2012

Secretary of state begins election recounts Wednesday

Races under review are House districts 45, 54, 70, 80, 94, 109, 127 and 144, plus Senate District 17

Staff report

AUGUSTA -- The first of nine recounts stemming from the Nov. 6 election begins today at 8:30 a.m. in the Department of Public Safety headquarters at the Central Maine Commerce Center.

click image to enlarge

Maine State Police Sgt. Mike Zabursky rolls a cart of ballot boxes past display cases towards Florian Hall on Tuesday afternoon at the Department of Public Safety headquarters on Commerce Drive in Augusta. Troopers were bringing ballots boxes there for recounts scheduled to begin Wednesday morning.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

Maine State Police Trooper Jack Dow, left, reaches back into his vehicle for another ballot box as State Police Sgt. Mike Zabursky loads a cart on Tuesday afternoon, outside the Department of Public Safety headquarters on Commerce Drive in Augusta. Dow had collected ballot boxes in Gray, North Yarmouth and Pownal for recounts scheduled to begin Wednesday morning.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Seven candidates for state House district seats and one for a state Senate seat applied to the Department of the Secretary of State for recounts by Tuesday afternoon.

Ballots from the municipalities involved were picked up Monday by Maine State Police.

Representatives of each candidate and staff members from the secretary of state's office will manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally, Megan Sanborn, spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said in an e-mail.

The first recount scheduled was requested by Democrat Rachel Sukeforth of Litchfield, who challenged Rep. Melvin Newendyke of Litchfield for the House District 80 seat, representing Litchfield, Monmouth and Wales.

Unofficial results submitted by the towns shortly after the election showed Newendyke ahead by eight votes, 2,454 to 2,446. However, Sanborn's list with unofficial results shows the tally even closer, with Sukeforth at 2,454 and Newendyke at 2,459 -- a five-vote margin.

Sanborn said if a recount produces enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome of the election, the House determines the winner in House races and the Senate determines it in Senate races.

The other races in which recounts were requested, as well as the unofficial tallies and the date and time of the recount if available, were:

* House 45 (Burnham, Freedom, Knox, Montville, Palermo, Thorndike, Troy and Unity): incumbent Republican R. Ryan Harmon, 2,219, and Democrat Brian L. Jones, 2,252; recount not yet scheduled.

* House 54 (part of Benton and Winslow): incumbent Republican Susan E. Morissette, 2,142, and Democrat Catherine M. Nadeau, 2,176; recount not yet scheduled.

* House 70 (parts of Auburn and Lewiston): incumbent Republican Bruce A. Bickford 2,266 and Democrat R. Wayne Werts 2,268; 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

* House 94 (Buckfield, Hartford, Paris and Sumner): Republican Timothy G. Turner, 2,226, and incumbent Democrat Teresa Hayes ,2,260; recount set for 5:30 p.m. today.

* House 109 (parts of Gray, North Yarmouth and Pownal): Republican Susan M. Austin, 2,728, and incumbent Democrat Anne P. Graham, 2,770; recount set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

* House 127 (part of Scarborough): Democrat Paul Aranson, 2,720, and incumbent Republican Amy F. Volk, 2,725; recount set for 1 p.m. today.

* House 144 (Acton and parts of Lebanon and Sanford): Republican Daniel John Archambault, 2,379, and Democrat William F. Noon, 2,398; recount set for 1 p.m. Thursday.

* Senate 17 (Greene, Leeds, Lisbon, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Mechanic Falls, Minot, Sabattus, Turner and Wales): Democrat Colleen J. Quint, 9,716, and incumbent Republican Garrett Paul Mason, 9,766; recount set for 9 a.m. Friday.

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