Opponents push for recount over outcome of Maine’s recreational marijuana vote
Legal marijuana opponents in Maine have mounted a challenge against the outcome of a referendum that likely saw the state narrowly approve recreational weed this week.
Following two days of counting ballots, the Associated Press and Portland Press Herald said Thursday that the referendum, Question 1, had passed by a fraction of a percentage point, effectively allowing adults in Maine to legally own and grow marijuana for non-medical reasons.
Opponents aren’t convinced by their tally, however, and are officially gathering signatures in an effort to ensure a recount takes place.
The “No on 1” campaign has until 5 p.m. next Wednesday to collect 100 signatures in order for the Secretary of State’s office to reconsider the results and authorize a recount. Should they succeed, then a setting on an official tally could potentially take weeks, Portland’s WCHS reported Friday.
Unofficially, Question 1 succeeded by a vote of 381,060 to 376,658, according to the latest tally. The Secretary of State’s office has until 20 days after the election to certify the results, Augusta’s WMTW News 8 reported.
“The margin is razor thin, there are more than 375,000 people in the state of Maine that voted against this,” Newell Auger of No on 1 told WCHS. “It demands a careful, accurate result, and the idea that we are going to push on through when the margin is .005 [percent] is foolhardy.”
“We are talking thousands of votes difference,” countered Yes on 1 campaign manager David Boyer. “I just don’t see them making up that ground. Those votes can flip our way. We are ready to move forward with implementation.”