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Recount confirms Zeigler win in House District 96

By Fran Gonzalez and Sarah E. Reynolds | Nov 20, 2020

Augusta — A recount of ballots cast has been completed for the general election contest in House District 96, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced Friday, Nov. 20.

Reached at his home in Montville, Zeigler said, "I would like to thank all the poll workers for their hard work during this pandemic. It reinforces the strength of our democracy, in that we can trust that our votes do count. ... Now we have to get to work."

Recounts are a public proceeding in which the representatives of each candidate and staff members from the Department of the Secretary of State manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally.

The final recount tabulation shows that Democratic candidate Stanley Paige Zeigler Jr. is the winner of the election, with 2,975 votes, while Republican candidate Katrina J. Smith has 2,902 votes. Zeigler will be serving his third term in the Legislature.

Dunlap, in a conversation with The Republican Journal Nov. 20, said the apparent loser of a race has five business days to request a recount, and if the margin is within 1.5 % there is no fee or deposit required.

There is no automatic recount, he said; a candidate has to request it. There are some costs related to a recount, namely, the State Police have to gather materials and would accrue overtime pay. The staff at the Secretary of State's Office, he said, is on payroll and will be working anyway and would not add to this cost. A recount, if “starting from scratch,” he said, “could run between $3,000 and $4,000.”

House District 96 is comprised of the Waldo County towns of Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo, and Searsmont.

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