Opponents drop recount effort, acknowledge that Maine voters approved legalized marijuana
The group that opposed the referendum that legalized marijuana in Maine has formally dropped its request for a recount of the close vote last month.
The action, filed Saturday afternoon with the Maine Secretary of State’s Office, stopped the recount two weeks into the process. About a fifth of the roughly 760,000 ballots cast by Maine voters on Question 1 had been recounted.
“We promised folks that if we came to a point where we could not see any chance of reversing the result, we would not drag the process out,” said Newell Augur, legal counsel for the No on 1 campaign. “We are satisfied that the count and the result are accurate.”
The recount of the contentious question, which was narrowly approved by voters on the Nov. 8 ballot, got underway Dec. 5 with both sides claiming they were picking up votes early on in the process.
But as the recount continued, it appeared the tally would not change significantly. Unofficial results of the vote released on Election Day showed the measure passed by 4,073 votes, 381,692 to 377,619.
The anti-legalization campaign gave notice to the director of the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections on Saturday afternoon to end the recount, which was on hold for a holiday break until January.