Scarborough officials spent part of the day after Election Day recounting nearly 3,000 absentee ballots accidentally excluded from their results Tuesday night.

The Maine Secretary of State’s office is also still processing an estimated 4,500 absentee ballots from Mainers who live abroad or serve overseas in the military.

Those ballots were among the uncounted votes that could affect the outcomes for ballot proposals to legalize marijuana and raise new tax revenue for education, both of which were still undecided late Wednesday even with 98 perent of precincts reporting. While advocates for recreational marijuana held a slight edge Wednesday, the No on 1 Campaign pointed to the outstanding absentee ballots as reason not to concede yet. “Everyone’s vote will be counted,” said Kristen Muszynski, spokesperson for the Maine Secretary of State. “It’s not as instant of a process as we’ve become used to in the Internet age, but it is a thorough process.”

In Scarborough, about 2,700 absentee ballots were processed Monday but not included in the final vote count from Election Day. When election officials realized the mistake Wednesday morning, Town Manager Tom Hall said he got permission from the Secretary of State to unlock the ballot boxes and recount those votes.

Hall expected those results to be available Wednesday evening.

“It could have an effect on the ballot questions and any of the races as well,” Hall said. “So it’s important that we get this right.”

Muszynski said the Secretary of State’s office distributed nearly 5,000 ballots to Americans living in other countries or serving in the military. Those ballots are also were being counted Wednesday, although those results would not be immediately released, she said.

Municipalities have three days to submit their election results to the Secretary of State’s office, which will release official results 20 days later.

“I know a lot of people have the view toward having immediate results on election night, and that’s not what’s required by Maine law,” she said. “They do have time to go through their results and make sure they’re accurate.”

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