At least three state senators are drafting legislation that would require automatic recounts in close election races in Hawaii. The bills being drafted seek to avoid or more quickly resolve election disputes such as the one ongoing for a Honolulu City Council seat, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday. The council is still without a ninth member after candidate Tommy Waters challenged Trevor Ozawa’s 22-vote victory at the last election.Full Article: Hawaii lawmakers draft bills for recounts in close elections | National Politics | dailyjournalonline.com.
Congo’s neighbors are calling for a vote recount in the disputed presidential election and suggesting the formation of a government of national unity to avoid possible instability. The statements by the southern African and Great Lakes regional blocs put new pressure on the government of outgoing President Joseph Kabila to find a peaceful and transparent solution to a growing electoral crisis in one of Africa’s largest and most mineral-rich nations. The declared presidential runner-up, Martin Fayulu, filed a court challenge over the weekend demanding a recount, citing figures compiled by the influential Catholic Church’s 40,000 election observers that found he won 61 percent of the vote.Full Article: Congo’s neighbors call for vote recount in troubled election - The Washington Post.
Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Martin Fayulu on Saturday asked the country’s constitutional court to order a recount of the Dec. 30 presidential vote to find a successor to President Joseph Kabila. The Central African nation is still reeling from the surprise announcement Wednesday that another opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, had won the election. Mr. Kabila’s handpicked candidate came in third. Police and members of Mr. Kabila’s presidential guard on Saturday blocked many supporters of Mr. Fayulu from reaching the constitutional court, where his lawyers entered a petition for a manual recount of the presidential election. “I will take this to the very end. I won’t accept that my victory is stolen,” Mr. Fayulu said.Full Article: Congo Opposition Candidate Fayulu Appeals Election Results - WSJ.
The historic recount of three City Council elections began here Monday, as a medley of people packed a city conference room to commence the review of more than 170,000 ballots. The three DS-850 ballot-counting machines — the use of which three of the six candidates involved in the recount objected — lined the front of the room, as sheriff’s deputies managed traffic across the room. Circuit Court Clerk Tina Sinnen described the process — an unprecedented one that has been crafted in the public eye over the last several weeks — as “organized chaos,” illustrating the interlocking puzzle of people, process, and access required to administer the state’s first recount of multiple elections.Full Article: Court clerk: Virginia Beach recount process begins in ‘organized chaos’ | Southside Daily.
Maine: Poliquin ends recount but may still appeal court decision upholding ranked-choice voting | Portland Press Herald
Rep. Bruce Poliquin on Friday ended the hand recount of ballots cast in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race, but might still appeal a federal judge’s ruling on his constitutional challenge of ranked-choice voting. In a statement, Poliquin pointed out that he captured the most votes on Election Day – a fact that has never been in question – but said he is ending the recount. With more than 50 percent of the recount complete, Poliquin had yet to pick up a substantial number of votes in the ranked-choice runoff that would allow him to surpass Democratic Rep.-elect Jared Golden. Poliquin, a two-term Republican, trails Golden by more than 3,500 votes following the nation’s first use of ranked-choice voting to decide a congressional election.Full Article: Poliquin ends recount but may still appeal court decision upholding ranked-choice voting - Portland Press Herald.
Maine lawyers Benjamin Grant and Joshua Tardy are used to being holed up together. For at least eight hours a day over the past week, they’ve rubbed shoulders in a cramped conference room in Augusta, overseeing the hand recount of the nearly 300,000 ballots cast in Maine’s 2nd District. “We’re like Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner,” Tardy joked. “You gotta have each other.” Grant, a Democrat, and Tardy, a Republican, have handled most of the state House and Senate recounts in the Pine Tree State for the past decade. GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin requested the recount of the 2nd District after losing to Democrat Jared Golden last month under the new ranked-choice voting system. The mechanics of this recount are slightly different, but the intimacy of the process — with opposing campaigns examining paper ballots side by side — is similar to what happens across the country when the counting, for one reason or another, must begin anew.Full Article: Maine Recount Is a Low-Drama Affair — Unlike the Election.
The Democrat who lost a recount by one vote in a contested Alaska House race said Wednesday she will challenge the results. Kathryn Dodge said she disagreed with decisions the Division of Elections made on some ballots and will file required paperwork with the Alaska Supreme Court. A recount, held Friday in the Fairbanks race, showed Republican Bart LeBon winning by one vote. During the recount, Dodge picked up another vote, while LeBon picked up two. “This race has gone back and forth, favoring me and my opponent at one time or another during a lengthy process,” Dodge said in a statement. “I believe that it is important to follow the process through so that absolutely no doubt remains about this incredibly close result.”Full Article: Democrat who lost Alaska House race recount plans appeal | Peninsula Clarion.
Maine: Long recount could leave Maine’s 2nd District seat vacant when Congress begins new term | Central Maine
The recount that began Thursday in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race could leave the seat vacant and the district without representation when Congress convenes in January. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and a Republican House staff member involved in the seating decision issued conflicting opinions on the matter Thursday, making it uncertain whether Maine will have a 2nd District representative if the recount isn’t completed before new members of Congress are sworn in Jan. 3. Workers from the Maine Secretary of State’s Office gathered in a converted conference room Thursday and started the arduous task of hand-counting the 300,000 ballots cast in the election, which saw Democratic challenger Jared Golden beat incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin by about 3,500 votes. Poliquin asked for the recount on Nov. 26 after Golden was declared the winner. Poliquin also has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the ranked-choice voting system.Full Article: Long recount could leave Maine’s 2nd District seat vacant when Congress begins new term - CentralMaine.com.
The lengthy town-by-town recount of nearly 300,000 ballots cast in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race will begin Thursday morning, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin requested the recount after a tabulation of the ballots using Maine’s ranked-choice voting system showed him trailing Democrat Jared Golden by 3,509 votes. Poliquin is also challenging the constitutionality of ranked-choice voting in court. The recount is expected to take as long as four weeks as teams from the two campaigns hand-count each ballot in every municipality, setting aside any disputed ballots. The process is repeated for each round of ranked-choice voting as the teams tabulate the second- and third-choice preferences of voters whose candidates were eliminated from contention.Full Article: Ballot recount in 2nd Congressional District race starts Thursday - Portland Press Herald.
As Florida suffered through nearly two weeks of election counts and recounts, the scale of the vote-tallying woes in some places became painfully evident. Three of Florida’s four largest counties — Broward, Palm Beach and Hillsborough — admitted to problems in their machine recounts so troubling that they either failed or refused to submit results by the state’s deadline. And little wonder. During the statewide machine recount, the number of votes counted in the Senate race in Broward County was 3,500 less than the initial tally. Among the culprits: the county elections office’s accidental omission of 2,000 early-voting ballots in the machine recount. In Palm Beach, elections officials conducting the recount found “dozens of precincts missing a significant number” of votes, something that county Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher blamed on malfunctioning vote-counting machines. That prompted a time-consuming redo, which Bucher said caused her office to fail to meet the deadline for the Senate race. Saddled with tabulating machines that could not recount more than one race at a time, she did not even begin the recount for the other races, making hers the only office in Florida to fail to complete its machine recount in the five days allowed.Full Article: Florida election: Examining vanishing votes in machine recount.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin asked Monday for a recount in the 2nd Congressional District race he lost narrowly to Jared Golden, the Lewiston Democrat. Later in the day, Golden said, “Dragging this process out only hurts the people we were elected to serve.” Golden said in a prepared statement Poliquin is “within his rights to pay for a recount,” but is unlikely to prevail. … “Furthermore, we have become aware that the computer software and ‘black box’ voting system utilized by the secretary of state is secret,” he said. “No one is able to review the software or computer algorithm used by a computer to determine elections. This artificial intelligence is not transparent.” Dunlap scoffed at the secrecy argument. He said Poliquin’s campaign asked about the software used to count the ballots and was told the state had to keep details confidential for security purposes. “You don’t put something like that out there for hackers to use,” Dunlap said.Full Article: Poliquin seeks recount in Maine's 2nd District race - Lewiston Sun Journal.
Florida: Recount did not alter outcome of Senate race, but it set the rules of engagement for 2020 | The Washington Post
Two days after Election Day, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) got a call from President Trump’s reelection campaign manager: Get to Broward County, Florida’s Democratic stronghold, where officials were still tallying ballots in a tight U.S. Senate race. Around the same time, Marc Elias, a top Democratic Party lawyer who was general counsel to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, was preparing to fly to Florida to lead a likely recount in that contest. Over the next eight days, armies of lawyers and party operatives swarmed the state as elections officials undertook a laborious recount of the Senate vote and two other statewide elections, racing into courtrooms and onto the airwaves and social media to jockey over every ballot. In the end, the exhausting fight did little to change Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s lead over Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who conceded in a phone call to his GOP rival Sunday. But there was much more at stake in the nation’s biggest presidential swing state: the rules of engagement for 2020.Full Article: Florida recount did not alter outcome of Senate race, but it set the rules of engagement for 2020 - The Washington Post.
An unprecedented statewide hand recount is now under way in the Sunshine State, further extending a muddled, high stakes battle over every last vote in Florida’s crucial U.S. Senate race. But, barring a legal challenge, the race for governor is over. Following a five-day machine recount of the more than 8.3 million votes cast in the Nov. 6 election, Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered hand recounts Thursday afternoon in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott, and also the race for agriculture commissioner between Nicole “Nikki” Fried and Matt Caldwell. The race for governor, which also went through a machine recount, was outside the margins that trigger a manual recount as new tallies came in, making Republican former congressman Ron DeSantis the governor-elect a full nine days after Democrat Andrew Gillum first conceded. … Gillum, who explicitly revoked his election night concession Saturday as a machine recount began, did not re-concede Thursday, if there is such a thing.Full Article: Florida election: manual recount for senate, ag commissioner | Miami Herald.
Florida: ‘We chose not to fix this’: Florida’s new election crisis, 18 years after Bush v Gore | The Guardian
The judge’s indictment was damning. “We have been the laughingstock of the world, election after election,” the US district judge Mark Walker told a court in Florida on Thursday. “And we chose not to fix this.” The midterm elections took place more than a week ago. New members of Congress are posing for photos on Capitol Hill in Washington. Yet the Sunshine state is still counting votes in the knife-edge US Senate race between the Republican Rick Scott and the Democrat Bill Nelson. It has been a tortuous 10 days of chaotic leadership, catnip for lawyers, protesters in the streets, clapped-out counting machines and partisan allegations of incompetence and worse. Bob Shrum, a Democratic strategist, said bluntly: “Florida is where good elections go to die.” He should know. Shrum was a senior adviser to Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, which all came down to Florida. Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state and co-chair of George W Bush’s statewide campaign, announced that he had won the state – and with it the presidency. At first Gore, phoned Bush to concede but, as the margin tightened, he called back to withdraw his concession.Full Article: 'We chose not to fix this': Florida's new election crisis, 18 years after Bush v Gore | US news | The Guardian.
As the general counsel of Al Gore’s 2000 recount effort in Florida, I’m often asked this question about the Senate and gubernatorial recounts now going on there: Why does “this” keep happening in Florida? Part of what we are seeing now in Florida, as we did in 2000, is the product of factors specific to the state: persistently weak election administration in key counties, perennially close and hard-fought elections, and a colorful group of political players that seems ripped from the pages of a Carl Hiaasen novel. But the most important thing to know about what’s happening in Florida is that it has little to do specifically with Florida at all. Take a step back and look at the big issues playing out in Florida, and what you’ll see, instead of Florida’s foibles, are three critical challenges to American democracy as a whole. First, we allow interested parties — not neutral officials — to oversee the electoral process. It may seem absurd that Florida’s chief law enforcement officer, Gov. Rick Scott, who is also the Republican nominee in the Senate recount, is in a position to allege crimes by election officials, attempt to seize voting machines and dispatch state troopers to try to intervene in the post-election dispute. But a similar spectacle has been unfolding for months next door in Georgia.Full Article: What’s the matter with Florida? - The Washington Post.
Nearly 20 years ago, the nation’s eyes were transfixed on a contentious Florida election recount to determine the winner of the presidential race. That recount was cut short by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that even today has left many wondering who really won. This week, the nation’s eyes (and the president’s tweets) are focused on another contentious statewide Florida recount, this one involving the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger, Governor Rick Scott. Although two other statewide races are also under recount — the gubernatorial race and a contest for agriculture commissioner — the U.S. Senate race has drawn the most acrimony, attention, and legal action, since a win for Scott would help Republicans maintain their grip on the Senate. Florida’s secretary of state ordered machine recounts in all three of these statewide races due to narrow margins. The deadline for completion was supposed to be Thursday afternoon, but a judge has ordered an extension to Nov. 20 for Palm Beach County. Other counties have complained they cannot complete the process by Thursday.Full Article: Florida’s Recount Isn’t Really a Recount – Member Feature Stories – Medium.
Florida: Miami-Dade launches hand recount of 10,000 uncounted ballots in Scott vs. Nelson | Miami Herald
A room full of Miami-Dade election workers began a hand recount Thursday night of more than 10,000 problematic ballots cast in the U.S. Senate race, joined by a room full of lawyers and volunteers from both campaigns eager to contest votes for the other side. The county that still hasn’t lived down its chaotic role in the 2000 presidential recount returned to the grueling manual reckoning required under Florida law for a pair of exceptionally close statewide races. Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, leads incumbent Bill Nelson by about 12,000 votes statewide in the Senate contest, and Democrat Nikki Fried is ahead by about 5,000 over Republican Matt Caldwell in the race for agriculture commissioner. Miami-Dade plans to start the mandated hand recount of more than 30,000 problematic ballots in the agriculture race after it concludes the review of the Senate ballots.Full Article: When will Miami-Dade finish the manual recount in Florida? | Miami Herald.
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.
Florida’s recount of the midterm elections continued to unfold on Tuesday with new plot twists and a nail-biter narrative, as Broward County’s embattled elections supervisor finally began recounting ballots and candidates filed new lawsuits challenging state laws that govern the process. Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, who announced that she likely would not seek re-election when her term expires in 2020, said her office began recounting more than 700,000 votes shortly before noon while workers also sorted ballots for the three relevant statewide races: U.S. Senator, Florida governor and commissioner of agriculture. Though Broward started its recount three days after Miami-Dade began preparing to re-tally more than 800,000 ballots, Snipes said she was confident that her office will finish by Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline to deliver results from the machine recounts to the state. That’s because Broward has fewer votes to count than its neighbor county to the south, and uses faster high-speed counting machines. “There hasn’t been a deadline that we’ve missed,” Snipes said.Full Article: New lawsuits may extend FL recount deadline | Miami Herald.
National: Key contests in Florida and Georgia remain mired in uncertainty amid expanding legal fights over ballot counts | The Washington Post
One week after Election Day, high-stakes contests in Florida and Georgia remained mired in uncertainty amid expanding legal fights and political wrangling that could further prolong the counting of ballots. In Florida, where elections officials are conducting machine recounts in the races for Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner, Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee filed a suit in federal court Tuesday evening seeking to extend the deadline to finish the count in all 67 counties.Separately, Nelson and the state party went to court to try to loosen the rules for a manual recount as both parties braced for the ultra-close Senate race to come down to a hand inspection of ballots.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged Florida elections officials to take as much time as they need to tally votes, even if they blow past a key deadline. He also demanded that Gov. Rick Scott (R), who is narrowly ahead of Nelson in the Senate race, recuse himself from the recount. Scott’s campaign swiftly rejected that notion, which is the subject of a suit expected to be heard in federal court this week. In Georgia, a federal judge late Monday barred the secretary of state’s office from immediately certifying the state election results there to give voters a chance to address questions about their provisional ballots — a move that further prolongs the hard-fought Georgia governor’s race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp.Full Article: Key contests in Florida and Georgia remain mired in uncertainty amid expanding legal fights over ballot counts - The Washington Post.