Maine GOP recounting caucus votes


By TIM MAK  2/16/12

The Maine Republican Party, under fire from Ron Paul supporters for its mishandling of the state’s recent caucuses, is now re-canvassing counties and municipalities to recount vote totals.

POLITICO obtained an email from the State Republican Party asking local chairmen to send them the vote totals from their local straw polls.

“County Chairman & Town Chairman,” an email written by a state Republican Party staffer reads. “We are reconfirming the totals from the Presidential Preference Straw poll. Can you please EMAIL ME the totals from your towns. For County Chairman if you are emailing the total for your entire county can you please list the towns that are included.”

The Maine Republican Party and its chairman, Charlie Webster, have been under attack in the last week for declaring Mitt Romney of the presidential straw poll in Maine when not all of the state’s caucuses have met to vote yet.

On Saturday, Webster announced that Romney had won the presidential straw poll. Romney won the non-binding caucuses by just three points, 39 percent to Ron Paul’s 36 percent. Less than 200 votes separated the totals of Romney and second-place finisher Ron Paul.

Several counties were not included in the presidential straw poll, including Washington county, where the caucuses were cancelled for the reason of inclement weather. Others municipalities had local caucuses scheduled for after Webster’s announcement.

Washington county is expected to caucus this coming Saturday.

Ron Paul’s campaign called the exclusion of Washington County’s results “inexplicable” on election night. Official statement.

“Paul performed well throughout the state, although his campaign’s stronghold of Washington County did not report today for inexplicable reasons.”

The campaign released a second, more scathing email to supporters later on that evening.

“In Washington County – where Ron Paul was incredibly strong – the caucus was delayed until next week just so the votes wouldn’t be reported by the national media today. That’s right. A prediction of 3-4 inches – that turned into nothing more than a dusting – was enough for a local GOP official to postpone the caucuses just so the results wouldn’t be reported tonight,” read the statement.

“Just the votes of Washington County would have been enough to put us over the top. This is an outrage. But our campaign is in this race to win, and will stay in it to the very end,” it continued.

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