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Recounts for Maine House Districts 96 & 98 rescheduled after elections employee tests positive for COVID-19

The recounts, now slated for Friday, Nov. 20, will take place during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The requested recounts in the Nov. 3 General Election are rescheduled to Friday, Nov. 20, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap confirmed Thursday.

The delay is due to an employee of the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions testing positive for COVID-19. All offices on the fourth floor of the Burton M. Cross Building are closed Thursday as crews clean the workspaces, and the closure may extend through Friday, Nov. 13 as well.

The recounts, now slated for Friday, Nov. 20, will take place during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning with House District 96 and then House District 98 at approximately 1:30 p.m. 

Both recounts are expected to be completed on Friday, Nov. 20. The recount process will take place in Room 103-A in the Burton M. Cross Office Building, adjacent to the State House in Augusta.

RELATED: 130th Maine Legislature takes shape after election with Democratic edge in Senate, House

House District 96 includes the towns of Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont. Unofficial results show Democrat Stanley Zeigler Jr. winning with a 1.14% lead over Republican Katrina Smith. No deposit is required for this recount.

House District 98 includes the towns of Frankfort, Searsport, Swanville and Winterport. Unofficial results show Democrat Scott Cuddy winning with a 2.13% lead over Republican Jessica Connor. Per Maine law, a $500 deposit is required for a recount with a margin above 1.5%.

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Recounts are a public proceeding and spectators must wear face coverings and observe social distancing. In a recount, representatives of each candidate and staff members from the Department of the Secretary of State manually review each ballot to determine the official vote tally. Ballots are stored in a secure room until the recount has been completed. The ballots are stored in tamperproof metal containers and are closed with serialized security seals and padlocks. Recounts are not automatic; candidates must file a written request.

RELATED: Leaders in Maine Legislature prepared to focus on budget, pandemic relief upon return