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Scarborough officials order audit after election errors

Scarborough voters pass a school budget on the third try, but not without one last headache: a box full of absentee ballots that weren't initially counted.

SCARBOROUGH (WGME) -- Scarborough voters pass a school budget on the third try, but not without one last headache: a box full of absentee ballots that weren't initially counted.

After two failed referendums and the start of the school year, officials announced voters had finally passed a budget Tuesday night by 238 votes.

"Upon returning to the office this morning it was identified that a full box of absentee ballots were still in the vault and not counted last evening," said Town Manager, Tom Hall.

Hall said 420 ballots were counted Wednesday morning and, it turns out, the mistake didn't change the result. It still passed by 180 votes.

"Well, its human error," he said. "We're trying to keep costs downm so we do have a hand count for these validation votes, but it really comes down to human error."

This is the third error in less than a year. Hall said ballots went uncounted in two other elections, but were discovered in time to be included in the final tally.

"My immediate concern still is really the integrity of the election process," Hall said.

He said he called the Secretary of State's office this morning, requesting an audit to identify weaknesses and reassure residents.

"I think it would be helpful for everyone involved to have them down and just give us some recommendations," said Hall.

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