The recount of votes on Maine’s contentious marijuana legalization initiative began Monday in Augusta with volunteers slowly hand-sorting thousands of “Yes” and “No” ballots, one by one.
Volunteer counters occasionally set aside small numbers of ballots that could be challenged because they had been mismarked or may not have been counted properly. On one ballot, for example, a voter filled in the “o” in the word “No” instead of filling in the oval next to it. On another, a voter colored in circles above “Yes” but didn’t fill in the oval.
The painstaking recount got underway just over one month before the historic new law is set to take effect. The process of reviewing as many as 700,000 ballots from roughly 500 communities could delay implementation of the law even if the review does not uncover enough counting errors to overturn the results. [Read more at Portland Press Herald]