BUCKSPORT – It was just one vote that put James Morrison ahead in the race for a seat on Bucksport’s town council, 433 to 434.
On Tuesday morning a recount was held between Morrison and incumbent Rob Carmichael.
“10, 15, 20 votes is one thing but one vote. It’s very unusual to say the least,” said Town Clerk Jacob Gran.
After Election Day, Carmichael requested the recount.
According to the town clerk, the recount process was transparent from the beginning. Carmichael and Morrison each chose a few people to recount the votes.
At the end of the recount the results remained the same, Morrison taking the seat with 434 votes.
“These ballots were locked up in a vault that only I had access to,” Gran said.
“I am completely confident that we did everything that we could to preserve the integrity of the election. That was shown this afternoon,” he said.
After about an hour and a half of recounting, the town clerk said it was important to trust the machine’s results.
“I can understand why we put our trust in these machines for our statewide and national election. It really is reassuring to know that,” Gran said.
Gran said the only thing the machine can’t determine is voter intent. He said only a few ballots had two candidates chosen.
“Those get counted as a blank because we cannot determine who they were actually voting for,” said Gran.
“They were only supposed to choose one but those are the only ones you could deem questionable,” he said.
This is the second recount the town has had in more than 20 years but Gran said he hasn’t seen anything like it.
“In margins this small with a one-vote margin I truthfully have never seen it in my career in municipal government,” said Gran. “These are computers, they’re machines, they make errors as well. In a margin this small I can understand having a recount.”