Letter: South Portland recount was worth the effort

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I write to express my sincere congratulations to Maxine Beecher and Susan Henderson for their election as South Portland city councilors. The voters have chosen two people who bring a wise and thoughtful perspective to the many issues facing the city.

Most readers know that I requested a recount of the vote for this election. I did this because our new voting machines had not yet been subjected to a local hand recount for a live election, in a race with seven candidates and a margin of 56 out of 22,700 votes cast. I received support for this request from thought leaders of all political persuasions throughout the city.

Throughout the campaign and the recount process, Henderson demonstrated nothing but graciousness and support toward me and for this effort.

The recount occurred through the diligent efforts of city staff and 16 volunteers. It demonstrated that the effort was worth the time and energy, picking up 118 new votes that the machines had rejected as “blank.” Although the overall winning margin changed just slightly from 56 to 50, the voters of South Portland can be satisfied now that the results truly reflect their intent. The recount has also uncovered important information and experience that will help us in future close elections.

I look forward to cheering on Beecher, Henderson, and all of our city councilors as they prepare for a next term of public service. We are privileged to have such high-quality leadership in South Portland.

Kate Lewis
South Portland