For Immediate Release
November 20, 2000
Contact: Dan Gwadosky
Recounts Completed for House Districts 137 and 148
recounts resulting from the November General Election were heldtoday forHouse
Districts 137 and 148. The final result of a recount conductedthismorning
for House District 137 may be decided by the Maine House ofRepresentatives,
if the candidates do not resolve the recount by agreement. Currently a 7-vote
margin separates Anita P. Haskell (R) of Milford andLauraJ. Sanborn (D) of
Alton with 12 ballots in dispute as to voter intent,amongother issues. Since
there were enough disputed ballots to affect theelectionresult, unless the
candidates resolve the election by agreement,the matterwill be referred to
the Maine House of Representatives who willreview thedisputed ballots and
resolve the election outcome. This procedureis setforth in the Maine Constitution.
The recount determined that 1,996ballotswere cast for Ms. Haskell, while
1,989 ballots were cast for Ms.Sanborn.
In the recount completed this afternoon for House District 148, Florence
T. Young (R) of Limestone remained the winner by a margin of 13 votes after
the ballots were recounted. Wade E. McLaughlin (D) of Limestone requested
the recount after the preliminary results from Election Day showed him to
have lost the election.
All recounts are conducted in a secure State Police building on HospitalStreet
in Augusta. Recounts are a public proceeding and members of the mediamay
attend to observe. State law requires the State Police to collect theballots
for the recounts and keep them in the secured State Police facilityuntilthe
recounts have been completed. The ballots are stored in tamperproofmetal
containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals andlocks.
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 depositis
required. If the margin is greater than 4 %, then a $1,000 deposit isrequired.
In a recount, the representatives of each candidate and the staff of theDivision
of Elections manually review each ballot to determine the officialvote 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.
An updated list of all recounts requested is attached. The deadline for
requesting recounts was by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2000.