Maine Government News
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap Releases Schedule of Legislative Primary Recounts
June 17, 2014
Secretary of State
Contact: Matthew Dunlap 207-626-8400
AUGUSTA, MAINE—Secretary of State Matt Dunlap has announced the schedule of requested recounts from the June 10th Maine primary election. As of June 17th, 2014, which was the deadline for recount requests to be filed with the Secretary of State, two requests were made in writing and have been scheduled. The Democratic primary contest in House District 50 will be recounted on June 18th at 1:00 pm, and the Democratic primary contest in Senate District 33 will be recounted on June 19th at 10:00 am at the Department of Public Safety building at 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta.
Maine law requires that a recount must be requested before any ballot boxes can be retrieved or other procedures for a recount are initiated. There is no threshold for an automatic recount in Maine law.
In the House District 50 Democratic primary, which includes part of Brunswick, Ralph L. Tucker led Jacqueline A. Sartoris by a margin of 442 votes to 432 votes on Election Day. In the Senate District 33 Democratic primary, which is in York County, John L. Tuttle led Andrea M. Boland by a margin of 841 votes to 821 votes.
Following the request for a recount, the Secretary of State works with the Maine State Police to retrieve the sealed ballot boxes and other election material from the municipal election officials of the affected precincts, and they are secured at the Maine State Police headquarters in Augusta. Candidates provide counting teams who are supervised by the Secretary of State, and candidates can have legal representation to help resolve issues around disputed ballots. Once the recount is complete, the candidates can agree to the result or, if the result remains in dispute, they would then appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a resolution. In the general election, legislative disputes would be resolved by the Legislature.
Under Maine law, candidates who appear to have lost an election can request a recount in writing within five business days of the election. If the margin of defeat is less than 2%, then the candidate can request the recount free of charge. If the margin of defeat is greater than 2%, the law requires the candidate to pay a deposit that is refunded if the apparent result from Election Day is overturned. If the margin of defeat is greater than 2% but less than 4%, the deposit required is $500. If the margin is greater than 4% but less than 6%, the deposit is $1,000; the maximum deposit for a recount is $10,000 for margins of defeat to be recounted of 10% or greater.