AUGUSTA – A lengthy, two-day recount of more than 25,000 votes from Washington and Hancock counties failed Tuesday to affect the outcome in a disputed district attorney’s race.
Michael Povich, an Ellsworth Republican incumbent, remained the winner with 23,046 votes for Maine Prosecutorial District 7, which encompasses both coastal counties. His challenger, write-in candidate Steven A. Juskewitch, a Dedham Republican, picked up 700 votes to increase his unofficial total from 3,680 to 4,380.
Neither man was available for comment Tuesday evening.
According to Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn, an agreement between the two candidates resulted in Povich retaining the same total as was recorded on election night. Both parties identified a total of 458 disputed ballots in which voter intent was not clear for one side or the other. The ballots also could be disputed based on questionable physical condition.
In previous interviews, Juskewitch, who paid a $1,000 fee to initiate the recount, said he never expected to reverse the apparent decision by the voters on Nov. 5. Instead, he insisted his request for a recount was driven by his desire to probe the intricacies of the write-in process. He maintained that in some cases ballots cast for him were not counted, simply because voters did not precisely follow balloting instructions or spell his name correctly. Juskewitch predicted that once all of the ballots containing his name – or some misspelled derivation of it – were counted, he would pick up another 2,000 votes.