election recount

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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.

National: Before the Fights Over Recounts: An Election Day Vote on Voting | The New York Times

Amid the recounts, recriminations and allegations of voter suppression or ballot fraud, something else happened in Tuesday’s elections — a wave of actions aimed at making voting easier and fairer that is an often-overlooked strain in the nation’s voting wars. Floridians extended voting rights to 1.4 million convicted felons. Maryland, Nevada and Michigan were among states that made it easier to register and vote. Michigan, along with Colorado and Missouri, limited politicians’ ability to directly draw, and gerrymander, district lines. Utah, where votes are still being tallied, appears poised to do the same. It was as if states around the country were pulled in two directions at once — with measures aimed at broadening voter participation coming on the heels of recent laws and regulations making it harder to register and vote. Still, for all the charges and countercharges on voter suppression, most of the momentum Tuesday was on measures quite likely to broaden voter participation and limit gerrymanders.

Full Article: Before the Fights Over Recounts: An Election Day Vote on Voting - The New York Times.

Florida: Amid recounts, frustration grows for those whose votes didn’t count | Tampa Bay Times

As Florida’s races for senator, governor and agriculture commissioner undergo recounts, David Kendall Casey, watching from Atlanta, feels even more annoyed. The 24-year-old graduate student at Georgia State University said he wanted to vote. He checked in with his local elections office in Pinellas County and believed he had ordered a mail ballot. But it never arrived. “It’s literally mathematically getting more important as it gets closer,” Casey said of his vote. He assumed his preferred candidate, Andrew Gillum, would win easily, but Gillum did not. The Democrat conceded, then didn’t, and the race between him and Republican Ron DeSantis is undergoing a machine recount. “This is exactly why I was super excited to vote this year,” Casey said. “It makes you just so despondent about the process. … That power was sort of taken away from me.”

Full Article: Amid Florida recounts, frustration grows for those whose votes didn’t count | Tampa Bay Times.

Florida: Inside the Republican Strategy to Discredit the Florida Recount | The New York Times

The concerted effort by Republicans in Washington and Florida to discredit the state’s recount as illegitimate and potentially rife with fraud reflects a cold political calculation: Treat the recount as the next phase of a campaign to secure the party’s majority and agenda in the Senate. That imperative — described by Republican lawyers, strategists and advisers involved in the effort — reflects the G.O.P.’s determination to tighten its hold on power in the narrowly divided Senate. The outcome of the Florida race will decide whether the party controls as many as 53 seats and has a freer hand to confirm Republican-backed judges with the vote of the man at the center of the recount, Gov. Rick Scott, who is trying to oust a three-term Democrat, Bill Nelson. With the Democrats capturing a Republican-held Senate seat in Arizona on Monday night, the recount fight in Florida becomes even more consequential.

Full Article: Inside the Republican Strategy to Discredit the Florida Recount - The New York Times.

Voting Blogs: Counting Ballots Pursuant to Law is Not Stealing an Election | Steven F. Huefner /Election Law @ Moritz

It has been less than 72 hours since polls closed on the 2018 congressional midterm elections, and for candidates and their supporters who do not yet know the outcome of close contests, patience – not unsubstantiated or false allegations of election rigging – MUST be the order of the day. As any close observer of U.S. elections knows, once the polls close each state then conducts a carefully structured process of tallying the votes. Critically, as any close observer also knows, the Election Night “results” are not only unofficial, they are also still entirely preliminary and will almost inevitably change, perhaps considerably. With the dramatic rise in the use of mail-in absentee voting over the past decade, election officials increasingly must deal after Election Day with a significant volume of paper ballots that have arrived around Election Day (each state sets its own rules for when the ballots must arrive). Meanwhile, provisional ballots also require individual review and processing after Election Day. These post-election processes are not some mere afterthought; rather, they are critical components of determining the official election outcome, and they must be respected as essential to the overall integrity of the election.

Full Article: Moritz College of Law | Election Law @ MoritzArticle - Election Law @ Moritz | Counting Ballots Pursuant to Law is Not Stealing an Election.

Florida: Counties race to recount votes by Thursday | Miami Herald

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner was aware of recount issues that surfaced in Broward County on Sunday, but said through a spokeswoman that the issues were resolved. The county had an issue during the logic and accuracy testing, spokeswoman Sarah Revell, but the recount is now underway. Logic and accuracy testing is required so that any potential issues can be corrected before a recount begins. On Saturday, the razor-thin margins in the races of U.S. Senate, agriculture commissioner and the governor’s race caused Detzner to order mandatory machine recounts in all three statewide races after all counties submitted their unofficial results by noon. The state’s 67 elections departments have just five days to recount more than 8.2 million combined ballots cast over an entire month leading up to Tuesday’s midterms. On Sunday, the numbers remained tight.

Full Article: FL 2018 recount: Counties race to recount votes by Thursday | Miami Herald.

Florida: A Mysterious ‘Undervote’ Could End Up Settling the Florida Senate Race | The New York Times

The vote count in Florida’s Senate race keeps getting tighter. Gov. Rick Scott’s lead over the Democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson, is down to 15,000 votes, and it’s likely to narrow further as provisional and late overseas ballots are counted. As the initial count concludes, one issue will loom over the result: a substantial undervote in Broward County, the state’s most Democratic county, and the possibility that the ballot design, which might have made it harder to find the Senate choice, will ultimately cost the Democrats a Senate seat. An undervote is when a voter casts a ballot but doesn’t vote in one of the contests on the ballot. At the moment, there are a lot of undervotes in the Senate race in Broward. If Mr. Scott ultimately prevails by a margin of 10,000 votes or less, the undervotes in Broward County could be what cost Mr. Nelson the race. Broward County has reported about 25,000 fewer votes cast for Senate than for governor, a difference of about 3.7 percent. That means voters left their Senate choice blank, or the choice was not counted because of a tabulation error like an equipment problem. This is highly unusual, and there’s nothing like this discrepancy elsewhere in the state. Immediately across the county line in Miami-Dade County, about the same number of people voted in the Senate race and the governor’s race.

Full Article: A Mysterious ‘Undervote’ Could End Up Settling the Florida Senate Race - The New York Times.

Arizona: Court hearing set in Senate race vote count dispute | Associated Press

As the Arizona Senate vote count starts to tip into Democratic terrain, a judge Friday will hear a lawsuit by the GOP seeking to limit the tally — or expand it in the state’s conservative-leaning rural areas. Four local Republican parties filed a lawsuit Wednesday night challenging the state’s two biggest counties for allowing voters to help resolve problems with their mail-in ballot signatures after Election Day. If the signature on the voter registration doesn’t match that on the sealed envelope, both Maricopa and Pima County allow voters to help them fix, or “cure” it, up to five days after Election Day. Many other counties only allow voters to cure until polls close on Election Day.

Full Article: Court hearing set in Arizona Senate race vote count dispute.

Florida: Recount possible in Scott-Nelson race for Senate seat | Miami Herald

Nothing comes easy in Florida elections. The tightest U.S. Senate race since at least the 1970s was too close to call on election night and now appears headed for a recount. Republican Gov. Rick Scott was clinging to a 25,920-vote advantage over Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson as of Wednesday evening — or just 0.32 percent of the 8.1 million ballots cast by Floridians. State law allows for a machine recount of the results if the two candidates are separated by one-half of a percentage point or less. The race is well within that margin. “We are proceeding to a recount,” Nelson said in his only public remarks since results started coming in Tuesday.

Full Article: Recount possible in Scott-Nelson race for FL Senate seat | Miami Herald.

Florida: Facing national microscope again, Florida braces for several recounts | Tampa Bay Times

Florida’s chief legal officer, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, told county election supervisors Thursday to plan for statewide recounts and for extraordinary public and media scrutiny in the state with the singular status of unusually close elections. “The recounts will be nationally watched … (we’re) under a microscope,” Detzner said on a conference call with counties. Detzner did not specify a number of races. Statewide races for U.S. Senate and commissioner of agriculture are within the machine recount window of half of 1 percent, according to incomplete and unofficial statewide returns. A third race, for governor, is at present slightly outside that threshold. Detzner’s boss, Gov. Rick Scott, is at the center of one of those possible recounts. Scott declared victory over Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson late on Tuesday in the Senate race, but the two men were separated on Thursday morning by .26 percent of more than 8 million votes.

Full Article: Facing national microscope again, Florida braces for several recounts | Tampa Bay Times.

Florida: In Broward County, fewer votes in Senate race raise recount questions | Miami Herald

As Florida’s bitterly narrow race for U.S. Senate appears it will meet the threshold for a lengthy manual recount, all eyes in the state are turning — yet again — to Broward County. Numbers being reported from one of the state’s bluest bastions are raising questions about why so many fewer voters appeared to choose a candidate in the U.S. Senate race, Florida’s most nationally prominent office on this year’s ballot. As of Thursday evening, 676,706 votes had been counted in Broward in the U.S. Senate race, according to the Broward Supervisor of Elections website, overwhelmingly for Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson over Republican Rick Scott. But nearly every other statewide office garnered more votes in Broward than the Senate race, particularly the contest for governor, with 24,763 more voters — 701,469 in all — weighing in.

Full Article: In Broward, fewer votes in Senate race raise recount questions | Miami Herald.

Philippines: Marcos vs Robredo: Shading thresholds set aside in sorting out ballots | Rappler

The Supreme Court, as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), recently ruled to do away with the contentious shading thresholds as basis for segregating ballots in the protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr against Vice President Leni Robredo.

In a step that could fast-track the recount, justices of the tribunal unanimously agreed to refer to election returns (ERs) – the document reflecting totals from polling precincts – in determining how the votes would be credited to either candidates. “The Head Revisors are hereby directed to refer to the election returns to verity the total number of votes as read and counted by the Vote Counting Machines,” the 21-page resolution, promulgated on Tuesday, September 18, read. The resolution amends Rule 62 (Votes of the Parties) of the PET Revisor’s Guide, “effective immediately.” Its amended part now reads: “The segregation and classification of ballots shall be done by referring to the Election Return (ER) generated by the machine used in the elections.” Debate ends on 25% and 50% ballot shading thresholds: Marcos, who lost to Robredo by a narrow 263,473 votes in the 2016 vice presidential election, has identified 3 pilot provinces in his protest: Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental – the first one being Robredo’s home province, where she won overwhelmingly.

Full Article: Marcos vs Robredo: Shading thresholds set aside in sorting out ballots.

Massachusetts: Five days, 37 cities and towns, and 89,000 ballots: The recount begins in Third District | The Boston Globe

Madeline Varitimos, the 79-year-old chairwoman of the Methuen Board of Registrars of Voters, lifted her thick magnifying glass to inspect the ballot in question. The ovals next to two congressional candidates were filled in, but one had an X through it. “Because the X was so clear and definitive,” Varitimos said, the intent was to obliterate the vote for Dan Koh of Andover and cast the ballot for Lori Trahan of Lowell. Her colleagues agreed. Such was the drama and routine at the beginning of a sprawling five-day ballot recount process in the Third Congressional District’s Democratic primary. Spanning 37 cities and towns, the recount has set out to tally by hand 89,000 ballots to determine a nominee who will move on to the Nov. 6 general election to face a Republican and an independent candidate.

Full Article: As congressional recount begins, sniping between candidate and secretary of state - The Boston Globe.

Guam: Election commission denies requests for another recount | Guam Daily Post

The Guam Election Commission will not be conducting another recount, and will therefore not be conducting a hand count of ballots. The commission was responding to multiple requests for a hand count, including one from the gubernatorial team of Sen. Frank Aguon Jr. and Alicia Limtiaco – the presumptive second place finishers in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Ken Leon-Guerrero and Andri Baynum also requested a hand count. The men are initiating a write-in campaign for Aguon-Limtiaco in the general election. Last Saturday’s recount was automatically initiated after a newly adopted formula showed there was a 2 percent difference between Aguon-Limtiaco and the Democratic gubernatorial team of Lou Leon Guerrero and Josh Tenorio.

Full Article: Election commission denies requests for another recount | Guam News | postguam.com.

Kansas: Local officials wield power as Colyer vs. Kobach undecided | The Kansas City Star

Local officials spread across Kansas’ 105 counties will exercise an incredible amount of power this week when they determine whether thousands of ballots should count in the closest primary race for governor in Kansas history. The roughly 9,000 provisional ballots, awaiting rulings from county officials across the state, will likely decide whether Gov. Jeff Colyer or Secretary of State Kris Kobach emerges as the GOP’s standard-bearer in the fall. More than 40 percent of the provisional ballots were cast in the state’s two most populous counties, Johnson and Sedgwick. The ballots have the power to swing the Kansas race in Colyer’s favor or solidify a victory for Kobach. Kobach’s role as the state’s chief election official has heightened the scrutiny of the vote-counting process in the contentious race. After a backlash this week, Kobach announced Friday that Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker will oversee the process in his stead.

Full Article: Local officials wield power as Colyer vs. Kobach undecided | The Kansas City Star.

Iraq: Election Results Unchanged After Recount on Fraud Allegations | Wall Street Journal

Iraq’s top election body said Thursday a manual recount of votes from the parliamentary election in May showed almost no difference from the initial tally, clearing the way for political parties to form a government. Fewer than a dozen members of parliament out of 329 lost their seats in the recount, according to Iraq’s electoral commission. The ballots were recounted after widespread allegations of fraud in the election in which populist anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr won a surprise victory. Those allegations paralyzed Iraq’s politics and increased popular anger, and the recount result is unlikely to restore confidence in the democratic process.

Full Article: Iraq Election Results Unchanged After Recount on Fraud Allegations - WSJ.

Kansas: No law stops Kobach from overseeing recount in his own race | The Kansas City Star

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Wednesday that he has no plans to recuse himself from a recount process in the race for governor because any counting of ballots would take place at the county level. “The recount thing is done on a county level, so the secretary of state does not actually participate directly in the recount,” Kobach said at a campaign event in Topeka after initial results showed him winning by fewer than 200 votes. “The secretary of state’s office merely serves as a coordinating entity overseeing it all but not actually counting the votes,” Kobach said, contending that his role puts him at arm’s length from the actual recount. No law requires Kobach to recuse himself, but legal and political experts said that he should do so to maintain trust in the election. Kobach, the state’s top election official, led Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican primary by a mere 191 votes Wednesday morning after each of the state’s 105 counties had posted election returns after technical difficulties in Johnson County delayed results on election night.

Full Article: No law stops Kobach from overseeing recount in his own race | The Kansas City Star.

Iraq: UN hails Iraq’s ‘credible’ vote recount | MEO

The United Nations on Monday hailed Iraq’s “credible” vote recount, which paves the way for a government to be formed nearly three months after polls. Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary elections were marred by allegations of fraud, prompting the country’s supreme court to order a partial manual recount. As an official announced the checks had concluded, the UN said it had observed the recount and found it to be “conducted in a manner that is credible, professional and transparent”. “We are very pleased that it’s been concluded and we look forward to the next steps in this process towards the formation of the new government,” said a statement by Alice Walpole, a UN envoy to Iraq.

Full Article: UN hails Iraq’s 'credible' vote recount | MEO.

Iraq: Election commission says election recount complete but cut short in capital over fire | Reuters

Iraq’s election commission said on Monday it had completed a manual recount of May’s parliamentary election but was forced to cut the process short in the capital because voting records had been destroyed by a warehouse fire two months ago. The recount was ordered by parliament in June after a government report concluded there were serious violations in an initial count using an electronic vote-counting system. However, within hours of parliament voting for the recount, a fire broke out at a warehouse where voting machines and other records from the capital were kept.

Full Article: Iraq says election recount complete but cut short in capital over fire | Reuters.

New Mexico: Libertarians pay for recount in governor primary | Albuquerque Journal

The Libertarian candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are willing to pay $8,500 to cover the cost of a recount aimed at ensuring their names appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. The two candidates ran a write-in campaign to win the Libertarian nomination. Under state law, they had to receive at least 230 votes in the primary election to advance to the general election, but they fell about 50 votes short. Now, the Libertarians are asking the State Canvassing Board to authorize a hand tally in at least eight counties and they’ve provided an $8,500 check to cover the cost. They will get the money back if the recount shows that they had enough votes to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot.

Full Article: Libertarians pay for recount in governor primary | Albuquerque Journal.