November 15, 2018
Politics Latest News | Poll Questions | Ranked-Choice Voting | Election 2018 | Kirstjen Nielsen

Maine’s ranked-choice ballot count runs into technical problems

Christopher Cousins | BDN
Christopher Cousins | BDN
Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn, center, and other election workers handle ballots on Friday, June 15, 2018, during ranked-choice vote tallying in Augusta.

Technical problems added another day to the week-long wait for the next round of ranked-choice ballot counting in Augusta.

Elections officials had expected to run the tabulations on Tuesday, but problems scanning electronic records of ballots from some communities forced them to delay the count until Wednesday. They now say to expect results of the computer retabulation sometime Wednesday.

Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn announced Tuesday morning that the ballots submitted on thumb drives from five communities — Gray, Ellsworth, Lewiston, Orland and Westbrook — are not clear scans.

Thus, elections officials sent back state police back to those municipalities to retrieve the physical ballots.

“They didn’t come over properly so we’re going to scan them from the actual ballots,” Flynn told a gathering of staff and reporters Tuesday morning.

Flynn said only some — not all — of the ballots in the five towns would need to be rescanned.

All of the problematic ballots were collected Tuesday and most had been prepared for inclusion in the retabulation. But that work was not done in time to start the process on Tuesday.

Mainers cast their ballots on June 12. Because no candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the total vote in Democratic primaries for governor and in the 2nd Congressional District, ranked-choice voting will apply in those contests.

Couriers delivered ballots from polling places throughout Maine to a central location in Augusta, where the secretary of state’s staff has been preparing them for a retabulation in which the second choices of candidates who received the fewest votes will be reallocated in new counts until a candidate emerges with more than 50 percent of the votes.

This report appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

 


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