Editorials: Recounts Are Always Unsatisfying. Get Used to Them. | Stephen L. Carter/Bloomberg

It’s now just more than a week after Election Day, which means that we’re in recount season. In the governor’s and Senate races in Florida, possibly in the governor’s race in Georgia, and in smaller local races galore, officials are gathering to re-tabulate the ballots in contests where one candidate led by a razor-thin margin on election night. It’s become a ritual of our democracy that when the outcome is close, each side usually accuses the other of trying to steal the election. In some cases, it’s obvious that we should double-check the count. Our mantra is, as it should be, to make sure every ballot is counted fairly and accurately. It’s a noble democratic goal. The trouble is, we don’t know how to accomplish it. Seriously. We’ve been counting objects since we were toddlers playing with blocks, and we ought to be pretty good at it. We’re not — at least when we’re counting ballots. The tally from election night (what cognoscenti have come to call the “preliminary” count) is almost certainly wrong. Let’s be very clear about that. Counting errors are a given, no matter what system is used. We humans miscount paper ballots, but machines aren’t much better. Ballots get mangled, they stick to each other, they get counted twice or not at all. So we count again. Of course we do. The trouble is that the recount — known as the “official” or the “certified” count — is also almost certainly wrong.

Full Article: U.S. Election Results 2018: Get Used to Recounts - Bloomberg.

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