Close Searsport vote for seat on board of selectmen leads to ballot recount

Posted March 06, 2013, at 1:06 p.m.

SEARSPORT, Maine — Just two votes separated winning candidate Meredith Ares from runner-up Travis Otis in the election race for a seat on the Searsport Board of Selectmen after the ballots were counted Tuesday night.

Such a slim margin has led to a request for a recount, according to Town Manager James Gillway. Ares received 156 votes to Otis’s 154 in a municipal election that the town manager said was remarkable mostly because of its very low turnout. About 2,650 people live in the Waldo County community.

Two people voted for write-in candidate Baxter Cook. Town officials will recount the ballots at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night at the town office, with selectmen watching in case there is a challenge. The seat on the board of selectmen was the only contested race on the ballot. Otherwise, incumbent RSU 20 director Percy King handily won another stint on the board, with write-in candidates Terry Otis and John Moran each receiving two votes.

Residents voted for nine members of the budget advisory committee, though only eight names were listed on the ballot. Ronald Cook, Faith Garrold, Ralph Harvey, George Kerper, Marjorie Knuuti, John Moran, Sandra Otis-Anderson and Charles Yahrling all will serve on the committee, with write-in candidate Nancy Barnes joining them. She received nine votes.

The Searsport annual town meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Searsport District High School.

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