NORTH YARMOUTH — Two candidates for a seat on the North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen are headed to an unusual runoff election after a ballot recount last week confirmed a tie between them.

Incumbent Selectman Jim Moulton and challenger Peter Lacy were among five candidates running for two seats on the board in the June 14 election. When the votes were counted, Moulton and Lacy tied 408-408 for second place out of the five candidates. Former selectman and state representative Anne Graham won with 796 votes.

A hand recount Friday confirmed the tie between Moulton and Lacy, but this time came up with vote totals of 409-409. Deputy Town Clerk Stacy Ruby said three ballots, including one for Lacy and one for Moulton, were accidentally not included in the first count. The third ballot, for Moulton, was voided because the voter signed the ballot, Ruby said. Under state law, any ballots that include a voter’s distinguishing mark must be declared null and void. The two candidates will now go to an Aug. 2 runoff election.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said Maine has a history of colorful elections, but the North Yarmouth race was a particularly unusual example. Dunlap’s office oversees state elections, but not local votes.

“People think their vote doesn’t count, but just watch one of these processes,” Dunlap said. “It speaks to the importance of getting people out and exercising their public duty.”

Moulton, who has been involved in North Yarmouth politics for years, was the only incumbent on the June ballot and strongly supported a redevelopment proposal for the North Yarmouth School that voters soundly rejected. The proposal, from construction company A.H. Grover, would have renovated part of the former elementary school, rebuilt Wescustogo Hall and built a 32-unit housing development.


In an interview Monday, Moulton said the A.H. Grover plan was a “slam-dunk” and the town will have to start from scratch and come up with a plan for what to do next with the proposal. “I don’t think there is an easy solution to this,” he said.

Wescustogo Hall, destroyed in a 2013 fire, should be rebuilt, regardless of other plans, Moulton said. The Wescustogo Hall Association wants the town to rebuild the structure at its original site on Walnut Hill Road, regardless of other development plans.

Lacy, the youngest candidate in the election, said he wanted to be a voice for young families on the board and was against the redevelopment plan.

On Monday, Lacy said he was surprised and a little disappointed the recall hadn’t decided the election, but intended to campaign for the runoff.

“I was hoping we could resolve it by August and save everyone the time and resources and money,” Lacy said.

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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