December 17, 2018
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Maine supreme court throws out sloppy ballot, breaks tie in Winslow race

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Members of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court hear arguments on ranked-choice voting in April at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

WINSLOW, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has declared a winner in a municipal election that was stalled because of a disputed ballot.

The Kennebec Journal reports Jerry Quirion defeated challenger Lee Trahan Thursday in the Winslow Town Council election. The election had resulted in a 173 to 173 tie after Trahan requested a recount. Quirion had asked that a sloppy ballot be invalidated in a lawsuit.

The high court determined it had the jurisdiction to determine the disputed ballot. According to the court, it was impossible to determine the voter’s choice because there were “ambiguous marks” near each of the candidates’ names. The ballot wasn’t counted and Quirion was declared the winner by a margin of one vote.

Quirion’s attorney, Ronald Bourget, says his client is grateful the judicial process worked.

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