2,700 Scarborough ballots lost, found

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SCARBOROUGH — Results changed, but the winners of local and state elections didn’t, after the discovery of more than 2,700 uncounted absentee ballots Wednesday morning. 

The overlooked votes were on a thumb drive from a machine used Monday to process absentee ballots, Town Clerk Tody Justice said. But on Tuesday night when all the ballots were being counted, she forgot to add the votes to the mix. 

“We had already processed them; I just had to pull the numbers off the (thumb drive),” Justice said Thursday morning. “It was an error on my part.”

In all, 12,994 voters cast ballots in the Scarborough race; 6,880 of them used absentee ballots. 

The oversight required Justice and volunteers to verify tallies from Tuesday’s election, and to recount all write-in ballots by hand. 

Some candidates and party officials remained at Town Hall on Wednesday for seven hours while the 2,743 additional ballots were added to the total. The updated results were released Wednesday at 11 p.m., after the recount that began around 2:30 p.m.

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.