Military, Overseas Ballots Extend Legal Pot’s Lead In Maine [UPDATE]
A recently completed count of military and overseas ballots has expanded the margin of victory for supporters of an effort to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Maine.
The Secretary of State's Office on Thursday evening released the results of a count of ballots cast by Mainers living overseas. The count found that 2,772 voters supported Question 1, while 990 voters opposed it.
Those votes expanded the lead of supporters to 4,402 votes, when paired with the unofficial results compiled by the Associated Press and Portland Press Herald. When added to those totals, 381,060 people supported Question 1 while 376,658 people opposed it.
Opponents have said they were not conceding the race and and could request a recount. There is no automatic recount for ballot issues in Maine.
Question 1 on Maine’s ballot read “Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”
The secretary of state has 10 days to certify the results of the election. The governor has 30 days to sign the law, at which point it will take effect and possession of marijuana will become law. Retail sale of trug will commence after a regulatory process.