Recount scheduled in probate judge race



ELLSWORTH — One of a number of close contests in the Nov. 6 election was the race for Hancock County probate judge, which was decided by a tight margin.

Republican Judge William Blaisdell IV won re-election with 13,903 votes while Democrat Lynne Williams, a Bar Harbor attorney, received 13,668. That’s a difference of 235 votes.

However, those are just the votes from municipal ballot totals.

Not included in the aforementioned totals are votes from Maine residents casting ballots from overseas as part of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

“These are the votes cast by military and diplomats serving overseas, their families, expats and any other citizen and registered Hancock County voter who was out of the country during the election and used the federal system to vote,” Williams said.

Williams captured 209 votes overseas. Blaisdell received 25. Those are from records from the Maine Secretary of State’s Office. That gives Blaisdell a total of 13,928 votes and Williams 13,877.

The overseas votes narrow the already tight margin to a difference of 51 votes.

“Given that that number is less than a 1 percent [difference], I am eligible for a recount without having to pay for it,” Williams said. “I believe that given the huge number of absentee ballots, early voter ballots and mailed-in ballots, plus the extremely large turnout on Election Day, that I should go forward with a recount.”

Blaisdell said Williams is entitled to a recount.

“The probate judge is a non-political position, so I was a little bit surprised how close it was,” Blaisdell said. “Given the state of the country, people voted along party lines even though it’s not political.”

Blaisdell said he was “fairly confident” that the results would remain the same.

“Not many elections have been overturned in Maine from recounts,” the judge said.

Secretary of State Spokesman Kristen Muszynski said 1.5 percent is the threshold for the state to conduct a recount at no cost to the candidate.

 

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly calculated the difference in votes between the two candidates.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at josborn@ellsworthamerican.com or call 667-2576.