Political candidates who lose big wouldn’t be able to seek a recount under legislation nearing the Michigan governor’s desk. The Republican-led Senate voted 27-8 Wednesday for legislation upping the standards for election recounts to require that aggrieved candidates prove they have a reasonable chance of victory. The House also voted 93-16 to pass legislation to double losing candidates’ fees to recount votes if they lost by more than 5 percentage points. Both bills will soon go to Gov. Rick Snyder. Currently, candidates must allege that they believe they are aggrieved due to fraud or mistake to petition for a recount and are required to pay the state $125 per precinct.
Thousands of Hungarians protested in Budapest on Saturday against what organisers said was an unfair election system that gave prime minister Viktor Orbán another landslide victory at the polls after a “hate campaign” against immigrants. Orbán won a third term in power after his anti-immigration campaign message secured a strong majority for his ruling Fidesz party in parliament, granting him two-thirds of seats based on preliminary results. In a Facebook post before the rally, organisers called for a recount of ballots, free media, a new election law, as well as more efficient cooperation among opposition parties instead of the bickering seen in the run-up to the vote.
The Philippines on Monday began a manual recount of votes in a vice presidential election after the son and namesake of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos contested the outcome, while the incumbent assured supporters her win was not in doubt. Ferdinand Marcos Jr, a former senator popularly known as Bongbong, is furious about having lost to Leni Robredo by about 260,000 votes in a May 2016 election he says was marred by massive cheating. Many political commentators believe Marcos has ambitions to become president one day, and wanted to use the vice presidency as a stepping stone. Opinion polls had shown him the clear leader ahead of the vote, which is separate from that for the presidency.
Pennsylvania: The GOP Couldn’t Recount The Votes In Pennsylvania Even If It Wanted. There’s No Paper Trail To Audit. | Buzzfeed
Republican Rick Saccone still hasn’t conceded defeat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. But if he calls for a recount, his state’s use of older electronic voting machines guarantees that a real audit will be practically impossible. That’s because the four counties that make up the 18th exclusively use touchscreen voting machines manufactured by either Premiere or ES&S, and use no models that create a paper receipt, said Marian Schneider, Pennsylvania’s former deputy secretary for elections and administration. “Selections are written to computer memory. There’s no other record of the voter’s selection,” Schneider told BuzzFeed News. “Two different brands with the same kind of interface.” Any recount of such machines wouldn’t produce a formal audit. Instead, it would simply ask a given computer to repeat a tally it had already given, akin to downloading an email attachment and then downloading it a second time, overwriting the first file.
Democrats have declared victory in the race for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, but GOP nominee Rick Saccone has not conceded — and Republicans have taken some tentative steps toward seeking a recount. Attorneys for Saccone have asked for “immediate injunctive relief” in federal court after a campaign lawyer was not allowed to observe the counting of ballots in Allegheny County, where Democrat Conor Lamb won massively. They sent letters to election offices in Allegheny and the district’s other counties requesting that ballots and voting machines be preserved, a step often taken before a recount or challenge. “We are waiting for provisional ballots to be counted,” said Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “We are not ruling out a recount.”
Pennsylvania: GOP gearing up to challenge District 18 results, impound all voting machines used in special election | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Republican officials are alleging voting irregularities in the District 18 special election, and say they plan to go to court seeking to impound all the voting machines used Tuesday. Democrat Conor Lamb of Mt. Lebanon holds a slim lead over Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone of Elizabeth Township. With a few absentee and provisional ballots still out, his lead is a few hundred votes out of more than 200,000 cast in the congressional district formerly held by Republican Tim Murphy. The seat had been safely Republican for more than a decade and national Republican organization spent millions supporting Mr. Saccone. But Mr. Lamb mounted a strong challenge and remained ahead in the vote count Wednesday morning. A Republican source familiar with the campaign said that the GOP planned to petition for the voting machines used in all four counties to be impounded, pending a recount.
A bid to recount the votes cast in the city’s referendum on charter change has failed. State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Nolan ruled on Feb. 6 that “the petitioner presents no facts to support or justify” a recount of the November 2017 vote because there is no law that requires the Saratoga County Board of Elections to do so when the vote margin is slim. Gordon Boyd, a member of the now defunct Charter Review Commission, was looking for a recount after the proposal to update the city’s 100-year-old commission form of government was defeated by 10 votes.
Virginia: Recount court denies Democrat’s request, leaving critical House race a tie | The Washington Post
The winner of a pivotal Virginia legislative race will be decided by lottery Thursday, one day after a recount court rejected a request to toss out a disputed ballot that brought the contest to a tie. In a race full of unexpected twists, the State Board of Elections is set to break the tie by randomly selecting the name of either Republican incumbent David E. Yancey or Democrat Shelly Simonds from a stoneware bowl fashioned by a Virginia artist. The spectacle, expected to be watched via live stream around the country, could break the GOP’s 18-year hold on the House of Delegates. But even if Simonds wins the drawing — splitting the 100-member chamber right down the middle — odds are the GOP will retain control on day one of the 2018 General Assembly session, when crucial votes for speaker and rules take place.
Virginia: Recounts end with Bob Thomas win and Republican majority left to chance | The Washington Post
The last of four recounts in Virginia House of Delegates races ended Thursday with the status quo confirmed – Republican Bob Thomas appeared to win against Democrat Joshua Cole by a margin of 75 votes. But whether Thomas ultimately retains that seat in the 28th District remains unclear, as the race is the subject of a pending federal court challenge. Democrats are seeking a new election because more than 100 voters were given the wrong ballot on Election Day. A hearing on the case has been scheduled for Jan. 5, five days before the General Assembly is set to reconvene. The recount held Thursday reduced Thomas’ margin of victory over Cole from 82 votes to 75 votes. A three-judge recount court is scheduled to resolve a dispute over a single challenged ballot and certify the revised results in the afternoon.
Georgia: Norwood concedes defeat, won’t challenge Atlanta mayoral election results in court | Marietta Daily Journal
One day before the deadline to challenge in court the results of the Dec. 5 Atlanta mayoral nonpartisan general runoff election, Mary Norwood has conceded defeat against Keisha Lance Bottoms. In an email sent to her supporters and the media Dec. 20, Norwood said she decided not to challenge the results in Fulton County Superior Court Dec. 21. She had until that day to do so because the Dec. 16 certification of the recount in the election yielded a small change in the results, where Norwood lost by about 820 votes or 49.6 percent.