Maine GOP still counting votes

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AUGUSTA — The numbers are in. Again.

A week after the Maine Republican Party caucus, party officials continued to adjust the numbers after several errors and omissions were discovered.

As of Friday night, new numbers were still in favor of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

The party last Saturday announced Romney was the narrow winner over Ron Paul, by 194 votes of a total of 5,585. Rick Santorum came in third and Newt Gingrich was fourth.

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The party decided to recount the votes after determining that votes from caucuses in Waterville, Belfast and a number of other towns were left out of the final results, and that the tallies for Paul and Romney were reversed in Portland.

The party said Friday that the recount shows Romney won with a 239-vote margin, of 5,814 votes cast.

So, that’s that.

Only, it’s not.

The Executive Committee of Maine’s Republican Party issued a statement Friday saying it will also recommend that the caucus vote taken by Washington County be included in the final state tally.

GOP Chairman Charlie Webster said last week that those votes would not be counted.

On Friday, the Executive Committee said it approved this statement from Webster:

” … The results of the Washington County caucus will be reviewed at the March 10 Republican State Committee Meeting. The Executive Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the State Committee that they include the results in the final tally for the Presidential Preference Poll as their caucus had been scheduled to occur by the Feb. 11 deadline; however, it was postponed due to inclement weather.”

Webster’s announcement last weekend that presidential contender Mitt Romney had won Maine’s GOP caucus and his refusal to consider any town caucus results that come in after Feb. 11 angered many Republicans. That was particularly true in Washington County, which, because of bad weather Feb. 11, postponed its caucuses until Saturday, Feb. 18. Fourteen towns in Hancock County also are set to vote Saturday.

The GOP caucus season runs from Jan. 29 to March 3, but the party imposed a Feb. 11 deadline on all towns. 

To see town by town results, go to sunjournal.com.

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