In the race for Waldo County Commissioner, incumbent Republican Donald Berry maintains a slim 5-vote lead over challenger Democrat Betty Johnson. An error in the tallies from the Ward 5 Belfast polling site that indicated 305 votes instead of 205 for Johnson briefly appeared to give the challenger a 100-vote advantage.

The error was discovered by Belfast City Clerk Denise Beckett Wednesday morning. VillageSoup is not currently calling this race.

The results have yet to be made official. Asked on Nov. 3 if she would request a recount, Johnson didn’t hesitate.

“Of course,” she said. “Especially when there’s so much discrepancy there [in one Ward in Belfast]. Not only that, it’s so close.”

Johnson said she is waiting for the results to be made official.

According to Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn, a candidate in race where the difference is less than 2-percent can request a recount without a fee. Contrary to a common assumption, she said, the state does not have an automatic provision for a recount, though until recently there was a law that required the state police to pick up the ballots in anticipation of a recount in races that were within one percentage point.

Berry, of Belmont, has served one four-year term on the Commission. Among his accomplishments, he has cited getting county tax growth under control and working toward the construction of a new building for the Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management Agency.

Johnson, of Lincolnville, has served in a number of municipal positions in her hometown. She ran on a platform of raising awareness about the role of county government.


Waldo County Commission — District 1 Donald Berry (R-Belmont)
Betty Johnson (D-Lincolnville)
Belfast 1,465 1,434
Belmont 272 135
Islesboro 107 198
Northport 392 337
Lincolnville 489 674
Waldo 183 125
TOTAL 2,908 2,903