Recount

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North Carolina: The governor’s race still isn’t over. And it’s about to get even uglier. | The Washington Post

One of the most hotly contested races of 2016 is still being contested. And the North Carolina governor’s race could drag on past Thanksgiving in an ugly way: The Democrat is declaring victory but the Republican incumbent is refusing to concede, and his campaign is raising the possibility of voter fraud. There could even be a recount. Cooper declared victory early Wednesday with a 5,000-vote lead over McCrory out of 4.6 million votes cast. That’s a 0.5 percentage point lead, and it’s small enough that McCrory isn’t willing to concede until thousands of provisional, absentee and military ballots are counted and the election results certified by state election officials. In fact, on Thursday afternoon, McCrory’s campaign announced they hired a lawyer and set up a legal defense fund in preparation to contest the results.

Full Article: The North Carolina governor’s race still isn’t over. And it’s about to get even uglier. - The Washington Post.

Editorials: Better hope the election’s not close | Michael McDonald/USA Today

The revival of Hillary Clinton’s email woes and a trend toward tightening polls are giving Donald Trump new hope of winning the White House. Could this election go into overtime? If the race is exceptionally close, we can’t rule out an overtime period that, in this environment, could rip the country apart. It is absolutely fair for any candidate to exercise his rights to ask for a recount if the election is particularly close. We should have all confidence that the election results are accurate. When the Supreme Court halted the Florida recount he had requested in 2000, Al Gore graciously accepted the results. “For the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession,” he said. However, Gore’s conciliatory tone is not Trump’s rhetoric of “rigged” elections, which he regularly uses to whip up his supporters. He talks of people casting fraudulent votes and stationing observers to “watch” the election. Trump questions the process itself, describing how election officials count ballots: “Oh here’s a ballot. Here’s another ballot, throw it away. Oh, here’s one I like. We’ll keep that one.” This is where a real nightmare for America’s democracy could unfold. What if the initial tally on election night favors Trump but as more votes are counted in the following days, the results shift in Clinton’s favor? It does not take too much imagination to predict Trump would be outraged, with an emphasis on rage.

Full Article: Better hope the election's not close: Michael McDonald.

National: Election law doesn’t care if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton ever concedes | CNN

The prospect of election night drama seems to dwindle with each new round of polling. But Donald Trump, perhaps trying to author a campaign cliffhanger, is determined to provide Americans with at least a measure of “suspense” on November 8. Barring a remarkable turnaround — “Brexit times five” as Trump put it last week — Americans will begin their post-election Wednesday with a President-elect Clinton on the horizon. But whether her opponent sees fit to embrace defeat and publicly concede is mostly immaterial. “It doesn’t have any independent legal effect,” said Rick Hasen, a University of California-Irvine professor who runs the popular Election Law Blog. “If he concedes or he doesn’t concede, the votes totals will be what they will be.” Recounts are triggered automatically in 20 states and the District of Columbia when the margin of victory is sufficiently narrow, according to different laws in each of those states. The parameters vary — in Florida and Pennsylvania, it’s a margin of 0.5% or less of the total vote, while Michigan requires a deficit of 2,000 votes or less.

Full Article: Election law doesn't care if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton ever concedes - CNNPolitics.com.

National: The Supreme Court’s Election Day ‘Doomsday scenario’ | CNN

Legal experts call it the worst-case scenario: The day after the election arrives and the outcome turns on a dispute in one state. As things stand now, the suggestion seems remote. But with Donald Trump refusing to promise he will accept the results of next month’s election, eyes naturally turn to the Supreme Court. The problem: there are only eight justices — four nominated by Republicans, four by Democrats. So what happens if they split, 4-4? “That’s the doomsday scenario,” veteran Supreme Court advocate Carter Phillips told an audience this fall, responding to a hypothetical question about a candidate who suspected the election was rigged and went to the courts. Phillips explained that if the court were to deadlock it would mean the justices were left to simply affirm a lower court opinion. Election law expert Joshua Douglas of the University of Kentucky College of Law says that power could end up resting with the lower courts, including even a state supreme court consisting of judges who were elected in a battleground state.

Full Article: The Supreme Court's Election Day 'Doomsday scenario' - CNNPolitics.com.

National: For Trump, challenging an election loss would be tough | Reuters

If Donald Trump were to challenge the outcome of next month’s presidential election, as he has hinted he might, he would face a difficult and expensive fight, according to election attorneys and a review of voting laws in key battleground states. Trump has said he is worried the Nov. 8 election might be rigged in favor of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and in Wednesday’s debate he refused to say he would accept the outcome. But before any court challenge, Trump probably would have to ask for a recount, said Donald Brey, a Republican election lawyer in Ohio. If the campaign did not pursue out-of-court options first, he said, a judge likely would dismiss the case. Recount rules vary from state to state. North Carolina, for example, doesn’t allow a presidential candidate to request a recount at all if one candidate has a lead of more than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast. In Wisconsin, the challenging candidate must pay the full expense of a recount if the vote in dispute is more than 0.25 percent, and in Colorado if it is more than 0.5 percent.

Full Article: For Trump, challenging an election loss would be tough | Reuters.

Bosnia: Srebrenica Votes Recounted as Bosniaks Seek Annulment | Balkan Insight

As a vote recount for the disputed mayoralty of Srebrenica began on Monday in Sarajevo, the Bosniak-led Party of Democratic Action, SDA called for a complete annulment of the local polls in the wartime flashpoint town. According to the SDA, which is led by the Bosniak member of the country’s tripartite presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, the legality of the vote was violated when police special forces from Republika Srpska entered the municipality election commission’s headquarters last Tuesday. “Members of the SDA are seeking to nullify the elections in Srebrenica, because [the RS Ministy of Security’s intervention] grossly undermined the integrity of the electoral process,” said the SDA in a statement. According to the statement, the interference constituted a violation of Bosnia’s electoral code, which stipulates that the Municipal Election Commission is responsible for collecting and processing results.

Full Article: Srebrenica Votes Recounted as Bosniaks Seek Annulment :: Balkan Insight.

Alaska: Judge reverses House District 40 primary, gives Nageak a two-vote edge | Alaska Public Media

Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi ordered the Division of Elections to certify that incumbent Benjamin Nageak of Barrow won the primary over Dean Westlake of Kotzebue by a two-vote margin. The outcome of the primary could determine who organizes a House majority. While both are Democrats, Nageak caucuses with the Republican-led House majority, and Westlake said he’ll caucus with the Democrats. The decision reverses the outcome of a recount, which had Westlake winning by eight votes. Nageak, who is the co-chairman of the House Resources Committee, expressed relief. “I’m pleased by the court’s result and hopeful it will be sustained during the appeal to the Supreme Court,” Nageak said. “I’m sure that’s where it’s going to go. And I hope this decision will result in improvement of training.” 

Full Article: Judge reverses House District 40 primary, gives Nageak a two-vote edge | Alaska Public Media.

Alaska: Nageak’s lawsuit against state election officials to proceed | The Alaska Journal of Commerce

The case of Rep. Ben Nageak, D-Barrow, vs. Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and Director of Elections Josie Bahnke will start on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi has ruled that the trial must begin next week and end no later than Oct. 3 so that the Division of Elections will have proper time to mail ballots ahead of the general election. Attorney Stacey Stone, representing Nageak, requested additional time to put together a comprehensive witness list, as rural witnesses must be both properly vetted and logistically organized, continue the discovery process, and issue the necessary subpoenas. “The reality is that absentee voting starts on Oct. 24,” countered Assistant Attorney General Margaret Paton-Walsh. “That means ballots need to be mailed out by Oct. 17 which means we probably need a decision by the Supreme Court by Oct. 14.” In order for that to happen however, Guidi would need to make a decision by Oct. 7.

Full Article: Nageak’s lawsuit against state election officials to proceed | The Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Gabon: Vote Audit Despite Burned Ballots | Newsweek

Gabon’s ambassador to the United States has said that a recount of votes in the country’s controversial August election would be impossible, since the ballots had been burned, despite announcing a review of the result on Monday. Michael Moussa-Adamo, the Central African country’s representative to the U.S., stated in a letter to the New York Times on Monday that the Gabonese Constitutional Court would undertake a review of the election result, including a “recount of the vote.” The country’s electoral commission declared President Ali Bongo Ondimba the winner of the vote, sparking violent protests among supporters of opposition candidate Jean Ping.

Full Article: Gabon Vote Audit Despite Burned Ballots.

Gabon: Court to Recount Disputed Vote Results, Ambassador Says | Bloomberg

Gabon’s Constitutional Court will recount the ballots cast in presidential elections last month following days of violent protests against the outcome that showed President Ali Bongo won by fewer than 10,000 votes, according to the nation’s ambassador to the U.S. “A recount of the vote will be completed by the Constitutional Court and the winner confirmed,” Michael Moussa-Adamo said in a letter late Monday to the New York Times. “The State Department and the African Union stated that any challenge to the election results conform to Gabonese election law. The Constitutional Court’s review will also conform to the law.” He didn’t say when the recount will take place.

Full Article: Gabon Court to Recount Disputed Vote Results, Ambassador Says - Bloomberg.

Thailand: Vote recount may delay official referendum results | Bangkok Post

An election commissioner will propose a recount at a polling unit, a move which might delay the announcement of the official results on the charter referendum scheduled for Wednesday. Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said on Tuesday he would propose the Election Commission (EC) recount the votes from a poll unit in Phitsanulok’s Muang district. He based the decision on a public video clip showing poll officials turning their back on observers while counting marked ballots without showing each of them publicly. Mr Somchai believes the recording was from one of 15 poll units at Naresuan University.

Full Article: Vote recount may delay official referendum results | Bangkok Post: news.

California: San Jose recount drama tests faith in system | San Jose Mercury News

Nearly two months after the June election, the scene at the Santa Clara County registrar’s office calls to mind a high-stakes blackjack game without the bright felt table or the waitresses hawking drinks. The registrar’s official behind the table, Jason Mazzone, counts out the ballots from each precinct and then produces the questioned ballots, spreading them out like a dealer showing the house’s hand. A team of political operatives from the San Jose District 4 council race moves forward to photograph the results. This isn’t just an unprecedented second recount of votes in a stunningly close election. It’s also an extraordinary clash of generations and a test of faith in the political process in a district where both the incumbent and challenger are Vietnamese-American.

Full Article: San Jose recount drama tests faith in system - Mercury News.

United Kingdom: EU referendum: what if it’s a tie? | The Conversation UK

If the most recent polls are to be believed (and as we all know, that’s a very big “if”), the result of the EU referendum is likely to be very close. But what happens if it’s a dead heat? Statistically this is of course highly unlikely, but it’s not impossible. It’s more plausible that the difference between the two camps is just a handful of votes. The question is: how close would the result have to be to trigger a recount? There is, perhaps surprisingly, no simple answer to this question. The general rules of the game are set out in the EU Referendum Act 2015, and there are specific regulations for conducting the poll. As for all elections in the UK, counting officers are responsible for the votes cast in their voting area and specific guidance rules for this referendum have also been published by the Electoral Commission.

Full Article: EU referendum: what if it's a tie?.

Maine: Virtual tie leaves fate of Maine GOP congressional primary in limbo | Bangor Daily News

The Republican primary election for Maine’s 1st Congressional District is far from over. More than 20 hours after polls closed, neither candidate had claimed victory, and naming a winner — even unofficially — hasn’t happened. The contest between Mark Holbrook and Ande Smith — each of whom is eager to try to unseat fourth-term Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree in November — is certain to head to a recount. With all precincts but Isle au Haut having submitted vote tallies, unofficial results tallied by the Bangor Daily News have Holbrook in the lead, 10,319-10,267. Unofficial results collected by the Portland Press Herald, also with only Isle au Haut missing, have Holbrook in the lead, 10,345-10,287. With a recount certain, the question is who will call for it?

Full Article: Virtual tie leaves fate of Maine GOP congressional primary in limbo — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine.

Tennessee: Federal judge stays abortion vote recount | The Tennessean

A federal judge has ordered a halt to a vote recount on the controversial abortion measure, Amendment 1, pending an appeal by state election officials. U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp, who ordered the recount in April, issued the stay on Tuesday at the request of Tennessee election officials who are appealing his decision the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Sharp cited the potential price tag of a recount to Tennessee taxpayers — approximately $1 million — in issuing his order. Should the Court of Appeals overturn his order, it “raises the possibility that public money may be spent on something which turns out to be unnecessary,” Sharp wrote.

Full Article: Federal judge stays abortion vote recount.

Editorials: Kentucky Should Eliminate Its Recanvass Process for Close Elections | Joshua A. Douglas/Courier-Journal

Last week, Kentucky witnessed its second statewide recanvass of an election in the past two years. Bernie Sanders asked the state to review the totals in the Democratic primary, which Hillary Clinton won by 1,911 votes. Just as in the Republican gubernatorial primary of 2015, the recanvass yielded no change to the vote totals, confirming Clinton won as announced on Election Night. The state and counties spent money conducting a recanvass that had absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election. It is time to do away with this process. Kentucky law contains three possible procedures to contest the results of a close election. The first is a recanvass, in which the counties “recheck and recanvass” the vote totals from the machines, along with any absentee ballots. During a recanvass, counties do not recount individual votes; they instead verify, or retabulate, the count from the machines – in essence, it is like pushing the button again to re-tally the totals. The counties themselves pay for this process, meaning that any candidate who is down by a close margin has virtually nothing to lose by requesting this procedure.

Full Article: Kentucky Should Eliminate Its Recanvass Process for Close Elections.

Maryland: Sheila Dixon won’t file lawsuit challenging Baltimore primary election | Baltimore Sun

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon will not file a lawsuit to challenge the April primary election for mayor, her spokeswoman said Wednesday, ending a month of uncertainty following the close contest. Spokeswoman Martha McKenna said the former mayor continued to call on concerned voters to seek information to explain the irregularities that led officials to decertify the election and investigate the results. The deadline to file a lawsuit challenging the mayoral and City Council elections was Wednesday — seven days after the city recertified the election. “We took a tack of working with the [state] Board of Elections and getting as much information as we could about the ballots, the certification, the recertification and the reconciliation process,” McKenna said.

Full Article: Sheila Dixon won't file lawsuit challenging Baltimore primary election - Baltimore Sun.

Maryland: Deadline to ask for recount in Baltimore’s primary election is Tuesday | Baltimore Sun

With unanswered questions at 71 Baltimore precincts, candidates must decide this week whether to mount a formal challenge to a primary election in which there was a series of irregularities. The campaign of former Mayor Sheila Dixon said she was considering whether to contest the vote before the deadline Tuesday to request a recount. Martha McKenna, a spokeswoman for Dixon, said campaign officials were investigating issues left unresolved following last week’s recertification of the primary. A review by the state Board of Elections left Dixon behind state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh in the mayor’s race by 2,400 votes. “We’re pressing for more information,” McKenna said. “We’re in the process of trying to determine how we want to proceed, and we’ve contacted the [state] Board of Elections with additional questions and we’re hoping to get answers.”

Full Article: Deadline to ask for recount in Baltimore's primary election is Tuesday - Baltimore Sun.

Kentucky: A recanvass isn’t same thing as a recount | Louisville Courier-Journal

A recanvass is essentially a review of the vote totals in each county. County clerks will review the absentee votes and check the printouts to make sure the numbers were correct when they were transmitted to the State Board of Elections. State law allows for recanvassing only if a county clerk or a county board of elections notices a discrepancy or if a candidate makes a written request to the secretary of state.

Kentucky: Clinton, Sanders’ delegate split pending | Louisville Courier-Journal

The Kentucky Democratic Party on Wednesday was waiting on final numbers from the Tuesday’s presidential primary before doling out delegates to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Daniel Lowry, a spokesman for the party, said Democrats had hoped to get the numbers by Wednesday afternoon but that the numbers may not be finalized until sometime Thursday. He said the party expects the apportionment could be 28 delegates for Clinton and 27 for Sanders following the narrow win for the former Senator and Secretary of State. “It was so close,” Lowry said of the election returns. According to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office, Clinton beat Sanders by 1,924 votes out of 454,573 cast in the presidential primary.

Full Article: Clinton, Sanders' Ky. delegate split pending.