At-large Portland City Council winner Brandon Mazer, shakes hands with opponent Roberto Rodriguez just after Mazer’s name was pulled from a bowl Thursday. The chance drawing took place after the two candidates tied in ranked-choice voting tabulations. Chance Viles / The Forecaster

A recount is scheduled for Tuesday in the at-large City Council race between Brandon Mazer and Roberto Rodriguez.

The manual recount of more than 21,000 ballots will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Ocean Gateway and may extend into Wednesday if necessary, according to the city.

Rodriguez requested the recount after Mazer was elected to the council Thursday by having his name drawn from a wooden bowl. The unusual procedure came into play after Mazer, the Planning Board chairperson, and Rodriguez, a School Board member, tied on Election Day with exactly 8,529 votes after instant run-off tabulations.

Rodriguez, who said he supports the ranked-choice voting system and its rules, requested the recount shortly after the drawing.

Mazer told the Forecaster he was a bit shocked to see the salad bowl when he showed up for the drawing.

The bowl, moments before City Clerk Katherine Jones pulled the at-large city council winner’s name. Chance Viles / The Forecaster

“It was really exciting,” he said after he was named the winner. “It’s the first ranked-choice vote to go into a tie, and it will be some cool history in Portland.”


The city’s rules on the tie-breaker were adopted in 2011 in conjunction with the charter amendments adopting ranked-choice voting.

Rodriguez also noted the drawing was a historical event but said he is confident a recount will leave him the victor.

City Communications Director Jessica Grondin said no details on the recount were available Thursday.

Roberto Rodriguez reacts after seeing Brandon Mazer’s name on the slip of paper drawn in the tiebreaker. Rodriguez is pursuing a recount. Chance Viles / The Forecaster

Prior to RCV tabulations, Rodriguez was leading with 5,553 votes to Mazer’s 5,280 votes. When none of the four candidates in the at-large race received more than 50% of the race, the votes for Travis Curran and Stuart Tisdale were redistributed. The redistribution resulted in the tie.

In other City Council elections this week, Anna Trevorrow won the District 1 race with 1,985  to Sarah Michniewicz’s 1,652.

“The major issues I talked about during my campaign were housing affordability and equitable policymaking. So as I have my initial conversations, I’ll be asking for feedback on how to make progress in those areas,” Trevorrow told the Forecaster Thursday in an email.


In District 2, Victoria Pelletier had a sound victory over Jon Hinck, 2,168 to 1,477.

“I am excited to get to know the other councilors and start having conversations about housing, the shelter,” Pelletier said. “I know option C passed last night and that’s something we need to talk about, how we will make sure we are putting that at the forefront of the conversation, as I know many unhoused folks not in favor of that option.”

Residents rejected a proposal to limit homeless shelters to 50 beds, known as “small shelters.” Voters had three options: 5,528 voted in favor of the first option to require smaller shelters; the City’s Council’s proposal to cap the number of beds at 150 received 6,183 votes; and the third option, opposing the first two options, received the most votes with 8,092.

In the state referendums, Portlanders voted 12,386 to 8,525 to halt the Central Maine Power Clean Energy Connect Corridor; approved 17,970 to 8,525 a bond for transportation infrastructure; and approved 11,104 to 9,498 an amendment to the state constitution on the right of Mainers to grow and raise food of their choosing on their land.

Voter turnout was 30.9%, with 19,423 of the city’s 62,780 registered voters casting ballots.

This story was updated Nov. 8 to include information on the scheduled recount. 

Portland City Clerk Katherine Jones holds the winning paper slip with Brandon Mazer’s name Thursday. Chance Viles / The Forecaster

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