AUGUSTA — In the fourth day of the Question 1 recount, the 550 missing Bangor ballots were found and counted, and supporters of the Oxford casino referendum ended the day with a 53 vote gain.
It wasn't what casino opponents were hoping for, but CasinosNo! Executive Director Dennis Bailey called the result “ups and downs.”
“We're doing Biddeford and Saco on Friday. It could turn right around,” he said.
He admitted however, that if casino opponents don't see any gains soon, he doesn't see much point "in looking much farther.” Oxford Hills casino opponents want to recount Oxford County votes, he said. He said CasinosNo! and Oxford Hills No on 1 will wait for Friday's results to decide how to proceed.
On Tuesday, counters went over ballots from Cape Elizabeth, Buxton, Hollis, Pownal and most of Hancock County.
Bailey said most of the “yes” gains were ballots that hadn't been counted by machines because voters mistakenly circled or otherwise marked their preferences rather than drawing a connecting line. With counters for each side checking the ballots, he said they agreed to count votes according to voters' obvious intents.
“The people that do this are very professional,” he said. “They don't have the problems that other states do. They don't have the hanging chads,” he said, referring to the 2000 Florida recount of votes for U.S. president.
Bailey said the missing ballots were found in Bangor with municipal ballots, as was expected. He said they were the first ballots counted that weren't already in Augusta for recounts in local elections.
Counters will take Wednesday and Thursday off. Recounting will resume on Friday with Gray, Biddeford, Saco and North Yarmouth, according to Black Bear Entertainment spokesman Mark Robinson.