AUGUSTA — With ballots from Lewiston and most of Bangor counted, Black Bear Entertainment's spokesman claimed an 11-vote gain on Monday.
But with about 550 Bangor ballots missing, CasinosNo! Executive Director Dennis Bailey said there was no way to tell until all of Bangor is counted.
Bailey, who was one of the ballot counters Monday, said there would be a search for the ballots in Bangor. He said officials suspected the missing ballots were still in Bangor with the municipal ballots. State Troopers will have to retrieve them in Bangor and deliver them to Augusta.
Before the recount, the Secretary of State's Office announced that voters had favored an Oxford casino by a 4,600 vote margin, not the 5,600 vote margin the Bangor Daily News reported just after the election.
Black Bear Entertainment announced Monday that it had received more than 4,200 inquiries, most of them for jobs, at their website Mainecasino.com. Some of the inquiries are from Maine businesses hoping to work with Black Bear and some are simply people who want updates on the casino's progress, according to Scott Smith, Black Bear's community development director.
Smith said people come to his office in Oxford daily to apply for jobs, even though the recount is ongoing and the casino investors must get site approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
He said applications were coming from all over the state, but a majority were from Oxford County.
On Tuesday, counters will recheck ballots from southern Hancock County that were hand-counted on Nov. 2. “We're interested in seeing if there's a difference with the hand-counted ballots,” Bailey said.
Counters will take a day off Wednesday so the Secretary of State's Office can collect ballots, Black Bear spokesman Mark Robinson said. On Thursday, counters hope to cover Gray, North Yarmouth, Pownal, Buxton, Hollis and Cape Elizabeth.
Bailey said Oxford County No on 1 wanted to recount Oxford County ballots, so casino opponents hope to count those early next week. The casino saw 62 percent support in Oxford County, the strongest support of any county in Maine, according to unofficial results.