Secretary of State Shenna Bellows talks into a laptop computer as she narrates a Facebook live stream Thursday of the recount between Denise Tepler and Jean Guzzetti on Thursday in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — A vote recount on Thursday confirmed the preliminary results that Denise Tepler won a Democratic primary for Senate District 24 by less than 1%.

Denise Tepler, victorious candidate in the Democratic Senate District 24 primary, watches the recount Thursday in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The unofficial results from last week’s election had showed Tepler winning over Jean Guzzetti, 1,822-1,798, a margin of 24 votes, or .66% of the total. The manual recount, conducted in an open proceeding by representatives of each candidate and staff members from the Department of the Secretary of State, was held Thursday at 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta and determined the final vote tally was 1,824-1799, a margin of 25 votes.

The ballots were retrieved by members of law enforcement from the Department of the Secretary of State’s Enforcement Services Division and delivered to the recount site, where they were stored in a secured room. All ballots were stored in tamper-proof metal containers and were closed with specially numbered security seals and locks, officials said.

“I’m grateful to the volunteers and staff with the Secretary of State’s office for their hard work and diligence in conducting this recount,” Denise Tepler said in a statement released Thursday. “It truly is a testament to the strength of our election process and our democracy to be able to count every vote and ensure every voice is heard.”

State Senate District 24 encompasses Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden in Lincoln County.

Tepler, a former state representative from Topsham, will go on to face Jeffrey Pierce, a Republican from Dresden who is also a former state representative, in the general election in November.

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