December 1, 2022

Secretary Bellows Announces Ballot Recount for Somerset County Commissioner Race

AUGUSTA — A recount of ballots cast has been scheduled for Somerset County Commissioner District 5 race, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows announced today.

The recount of the Canaan to Caratunk to Jackman to Big Ten Township district between candidates Lori Costa, Anthony Sparrow, Joel Stetkis and Lloyd Trafton is scheduled for Monday, December 5 at 9:00 a.m. Certified results show Stetkis with 1270 votes, Trafton with 1269, Costa with 1007, and Sparrow with 600, along with 711 blanks. The recount was requested by Mr. Trafton who lost by a single vote to Mr. Stetkis, so the recount will examine their totals.

The initial deadline to request a recount in a non-ranked-choice-voting race in the November 8, 2022 General Election was November 16, 2022. Under Maine’s recount law, however, “if, after the official tabulation is submitted to the Governor, the apparent winner is determined the losing candidate, that candidate may request a recount within 3 business days after the date the Governor receives the tabulation.”

There are no mandatory recounts in Maine election law, however in very close races – 1% or less apparent margin of victory for statewide or multi-county races or 1.5% or less apparent margin of victory for legislative races or single county races – no deposit is required. A deposit from the requesting candidate is required for races with larger margins of victory, increasing as the margin gets wider, however the deposit is returned if the apparent result is overturned.

The recount will take place at 45 Commerce Drive, Suite 13, in Augusta. To access the facility, enter through the door with a 14 over it (on the western side of the building, near the back), and Suite 13 is at the first doors on the left in that hallway.

Recounts are an open, public proceeding. The recount is expected to be completed on Monday. In a recount, the representatives of each candidate and staff members from the Department of the Secretary of State manually review each paper ballot to determine the official vote tally.

The ballots are retrieved by Maine State Police and delivered to the recount site, where they are stored in a secured room. All ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with specially numbered security seals and locks.