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For Immediate Release
House and Senate Recount Scheduled
AUGUSTA--Recounts from the November General Election will be conducted over the next 2 weeks under the supervision of the Secretary of State's Office. A list of all recounts requested as of this date is attached. Updates will be provided on any additional recount requests and as the recount schedule is finalized. The deadline for requesting a recount for candidates is Wednesday, November 13, 2002 at 5 p.m., and all requests must be submitted in writing to the Secretary of State. Recounts in Maine are not automatic and must be requested by an apparent losing candidate.
All recounts will be conducted in a secure State Police building on Hospital Street in Augusta. Recounts are a public proceeding and members of the media and public may attend to observe. State law requires the State Police to collect the ballots for the recounts and keep them in the secured State Police facility until the recounts have been completed. The ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals and locks.
A person requesting a recount may be required by law to make a deposit, depending on the margin of victory in the election. For example, if the margin between the two candidates in an election is less than 2% of the votes cast, then no deposit is required. If the margin is 2% to 4%, then a $500 deposit is required. If the margin is greater than 4%, then a $1,000 deposit is required.
In a recount, the representatives of each candidate and the staff of the Division of Elections manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally. Recounts are requested based upon the unofficial initial results, sometimes called the apparent results.
A candidate who requests and receives a recount may withdraw from the recount, thus ending the process, at any time while the recount shows that candidate did not win the election. If, during the recount, the candidate requesting the recount overtakes the candidate who initially appeared to win the election, the candidate requesting the recount may not withdraw the request.
If a recount in a general election for the Maine House of Representatives produces enough disputed ballots to affect the election result, the House itself reviews the disputed ballots and resolves the election outcome. This is also true for recounts affecting a Maine Senate seat. This procedure is set forth in the Maine Constitution.
Disputed ballots in county races are referred to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a final determination of the election if there are enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome.
Recount Requests and Schedule
and results of the recounts will be available throughout the recount
process by calling 626-8406.