Election recount

An election recount is a repeat tabulation of votes cast in an election that is used to determine the correctness of an initial count. Recounts will often take place in the event that the initial vote tally during an election is extremely close.

Election recounts will often result in changes in contest tallies. Errors can be found or introduced from human factors, such as transcription errors, or machine errors, such as misreads of paper ballots. Alternately, tallies may change because of a reinterpretation of voter intent.

United States

Of the 4,687 statewide general elections held from 2000 to 2015, 27 were followed by a recount, and only three resulted in a change of outcome from the original count: Washington gubernatorial election, 2004, Vermont Auditor of Accounts election, 2006, and United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2008.[1]

Recount methods

Machine recount

A machine recount is a retabulation of ballots cast during the election. This can be done using an optical scan voting system, punched card system or DRE voting machine. With document-based Ballot Voting Systems, ballots are counted a second time by some form of machine. With Non-document-based Ballot Voting Systems officials will recollect vote data from each voting machine which will be combined by a central tabulation system.

Manual recount

A manual or "hand" recount involves each individual physical representation of voter intent being reviewed for voter intent by one or more individuals.

With DRE voting machines, a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) is examined from each voter. For some DREs that do not generate a VVPAT, images can be printed for each ballot cast and counted individually.

Legal requirements

Recounts can be mandatory or optional. In some jurisdictions, recounts are mandatory in the event the difference between the top two candidates is less than a percentage of votes cast or of a fixed number.[2] Mandatory recounts are paid for by the elections official, or the state. Mandatory recounts can usually be waived by the apparent losing candidate. The winning side will usually encourage the loser to waive the recount in a show of unity and to avoid spending taxpayer money.

Each jurisdiction has different criteria for optional recounts. Some areas permit recounts for any office or measure, while others require that the margin of victory be less than a certain percentage before a recount is allowed. In all instances, optional recounts are paid for by the candidate, their political party, or, in some instances, by any interested voter. The person paying for the recount has the option to stop the recount at any time. If the recount reverses the election, the jurisdiction will then pay for the recount.

Not recounts

Loosely called "recounts" are actually first counts of various kinds of votes like those cast with absentee ballots and provisional ballots. Because they occur after regular ballots are counted and because most elections are not close enough for these other ballots to affect the outcome, when these additional ballots are being tabulated, many media sources incorrectly call them "recounts."

Notable recounts

United Kingdom

It is possible for a defeated candidate denied a recount by the Returning Officer, to request one from the court by means of an election petition. There are several cases where a Parliamentary election has been the subject of a court-ordered recount.

See also


  1. ^ Recounts Rarely Reverse Election Results. FiveThirtyEight.
  2. ^ "Automatic Recounts". National Conference of State Legislatures. October 26, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  3. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/herring-wins-virginia-attorney-general-race-elections-board-announces/2013/11/25/7b661082-55e7-11e3-835d-e7173847c7cc_story.html
  4. ^ See http://www.gregpalast.com/ for an investigative journalist's report of what the "recount" uncovered.
  5. ^ "Clinton campaign counsel: We'll participate in recount". www.msn.com. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
1993 Boston City Council election

Boston City Council elections were held on November 2, 1993. All thirteen seats (nine district representatives and four at-large members) were contested in the general election, while ten seats (six districts and the four at-large members) had also been contested in the preliminary election held on September 21, 1993.

The large number of preliminary candidates followed a reduction in the number of signatures required for a candidate to appear on the ballot, from 1500 to 500.Since the composition of the council changed in 1984, to four at-large seats and nine district representatives, no candidate who had run for re-election had lost. However, two incumbents—Anthony Crayton and David Scondras—were defeated by challengers in this election.

1999 Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council election

The 1999 Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council election took place on 6 May 1999 to elect members of Redcar and Cleveland Unitary Council in England. The whole council was up for election and the Labour party stayed in overall control of the council.

2000 United States presidential election recount in Florida

The Florida election recount of 2000 was a period of vote recounting in Florida that occurred during the weeks after Election Day in the 2000 United States presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The Florida vote was ultimately settled in Bush's favor by a margin of 537 votes when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Bush v. Gore, stopped a recount that had been initiated upon a ruling by the Florida Supreme Court. That in turn gave Bush a majority of votes in the Electoral College and victory in the presidential election.

2004 Puerto Rican general election

The Puerto Rico General Elections of 2004 took place on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2, 2004. After a count by the State Commission of Elections, the winner was inaugurated to a four-year term as Governor of Puerto Rico on January 2, 2005.

The post of Governor of Puerto Rico and the entire House of Representatives and the entire Senate, as well as the Mayors of the municipalities of Puerto Rico, and the Resident Commissioner were also elected for four-year terms.

For the first time in Puerto Rican history, citizens unable to mobilize to voting colleges for medical reasons, but capable of practicing their right to vote, were visited in their own homes and hospitals so that they could exercise their vote.

2004 United States election voting controversies

During the 2004 United States presidential election, concerns were raised about various aspects of the voting process, including whether voting had been made accessible to all those entitled to vote, whether ineligible voters were registered, whether voters were registered multiple times, and whether the votes cast had been correctly counted. More controversial was the charge that these issues might have affected the reported outcome of the presidential election, in which the incumbent, Republican President George W. Bush, defeated the Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry. Despite the existing controversies, Kerry conceded the election the following day on November 3.

There was generally less attention paid to the Senate and House elections and to various state races, but some of them were also questioned, especially the gubernatorial election in Washington, which was decided by less than 0.01% and involved several recounts and lawsuits. The final recount also reversed the outcome of this election.

2005 Webby Awards

The ninth annual 2005 Webby Awards ceremony was held in New York City on June 8, 2005. It was hosted by comedian Rob Corddry, and judging took place covering 4,300 sites from more than 40 countries by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Al Gore was awarded a lifetime achievement award and for his five-word acceptance speech he delivered the frequently-cited line, "Please don't recount this vote" – a reference to the 2000 Florida election recount.

2006 Vermont Auditor of Accounts election

The 2006 Vermont Auditor of Accounts election was held on November 7, 2006 and resulted in one of the closest statewide election victories in Vermont history. It also resulted in the first statewide election recount since 1980, and the first time in the state's history, that such a recount resulted in the overturning of the election night results.

2016 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

The 2016 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 8, 2016, as part of the 2016 general election in which all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. participated. Wisconsin voters chose electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting Republican Party nominee Donald Trump against Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.

On April 5, 2016, in the presidential primaries, Wisconsin voters expressed their preferences for the Democratic and Republican Parties' respective nominees for president in an open primary; voters were allowed to vote in either party's primary regardless of their own party affiliation. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders prevailed in Wisconsin's Democratic primary, while U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz won Wisconsin's Republican primary.

In the general election, Republican nominee Donald Trump unexpectedly won Wisconsin by a narrow margin of 0.77%, with 47.22% of the total votes over the 46.45% of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Wisconsin was the tipping-point state of the 2016 election; that is, when the State of Wisconsin was called for Trump, its 10 Electoral College votes brought Trump's electoral vote total to 270 (the amount needed to win the national election).Trump's victory in Wisconsin was attributed to overwhelming and underestimated support from white working-class voters, a demographic group that had previously tended to vote for the Democratic candidate. By winning Wisconsin, Trump became the first Republican candidate to win the state since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Following a statewide recount requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein's campaign, Trump was certified to have won Wisconsin by a narrow margin of 1,405,284 votes to Clinton's 1,382,536.Wisconsin was also one of eleven states to have voted twice for Bill Clinton in the 1990s which Hillary Clinton lost.

2016 United States presidential election recounts

Following Republican nominee Donald Trump's presumed electoral college victory in the United States presidential election of 2016, a group of computer scientists, cyber security experts, and election monitors raised concerns about the integrity of the election results. They urged the campaign staff of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who had conceded the campaign on November 9, to petition for a recount in three key states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. When the Clinton campaign declined to file for recounts, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein agreed to spearhead the recount effort on November 23, on the grounds that unspecified "anomalies" may have affected the election's outcome. The Clinton team subsequently pledged to support the recount efforts "in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides." President-elect Trump and his supporters filed legal motions in all three states to prevent the recounts. Two other states were the subject of recount bids that were separate from Stein's efforts in the Rust Belt states: American Delta Party/Reform Party presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente filed for a partial recount in Nevada on November 30, and three Florida citizens filed for a complete hand recount in their state on December 6.In accordance with the Electoral Count Act of 1887, all states must certify and submit their final election results to the electoral college six days before the college meets. Under this "safe harbor" provision, any recount efforts for the 2016 election had to be completed before the deadline of December 13, 2016. The recount in Nevada went forward and were completed on schedule, resulting in only minor changes to vote tallies. Wisconsin permitted individual counties to decide whether to provide paper ballots for recount or merely to rerun the same computer totals. A recount in Michigan was allowed to proceed for three days before being halted by court order, and a federal lawsuit to compel a recount in Pennsylvania was dismissed. While the partial Michigan recount did unearth some instances of improper ballot handling and possible voter fraud, no indications of widespread hacking were discovered, and the overall outcome of the election remained unchanged, despite the evidence that the voting machines were old and faulty, possibly counting as "blank" ballots many that contained visually clear indications of presidential choice.

Carol Roberts

Carol Antonia Roberts (born June 22, 1936) is a Florida politician of the Democratic Party. She is best known for her part in the 2000 Florida election recount, where she served on the Palm Beach County canvassing board.In 2002, she ran unsuccessfully for Florida's 22nd congressional district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives against Republican incumbent E. Clay Shaw, Jr., finishing with 38 percent of the vote.

She previously served as mayor and city commissioner of West Palm Beach, and as a county commissioner of Palm Beach County, Florida.

She is married to Dr. Hyman J. Roberts, by whom she has six children. For two years (1986–88) she was National President of ACTS, a private foundation assisting communities to Self Help. She served as ACTS' representative for famine relief in East Africa.

Carol and Hyman Roberts have been benefactors to several universities, museums, art galleries and charities. She has volunteered her time on the board of directors for numerous non-profit, educational and civil rights organizations.

Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River

Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River (French: Desnethé—Missinippi—Rivière Churchill; formerly known as Churchill River) is a federal electoral district in Saskatchewan, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 1997.

Doug Hattaway

Doug Hattaway is President and CEO of Hattaway Communications, Inc., a strategic communications firm based in Washington, DC. As an American communications consultant and spokesperson he has served dozens of major organizations, political campaigns, and government leaders in the U.S. and around the world. Hattaway was a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential run, as well as Al Gore’s spokesman during the 2000 election, and was reported by the Washington Post to be on a short list of candidates to serve as White House press secretary in the Obama administration. His calming presence on the campaign trail in 2008 and his prominent role during the Florida election recount – “the political story of the century” – gained him much attention, and he was named "an important figure in politics" by the Washington Post website, Who Runs Gov.

Hattaway has appeared frequently as an analyst and commentator on CNN and MSNBC.

Iqaluit City Council

Iqaluit City Council is the governing body of the city of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. As of February 2017, the council consists of mayor Madeleine Redfern and councillors Joanasie Akumalik, Terry Dobbin, Simon Nattaq, Romeyn Stevenson and Kuthula Matshazi.

From 1964 to 1979, Frobisher Bay was led by community council and chair. After 1979–1980, Frobisher Bay had a town council and mayor and since 2001 a city council and a mayor.The council is elected fully at-large, with the mayor and all eight councillors elected citywide.

Jill Stein 2016 presidential campaign

The 2016 presidential campaign of Jill Stein, was announced on June 22, 2015. Jill Stein, a physician from Massachusetts, was the presidential nominee of the Green Party of the United States for President in 2016 and 2012. In 2012, Stein was the Green Party's nominee and received 469,627 votes for President of the United States in the 2012 general election.She formally announced her second presidential bid during an appearance on Democracy Now! on June 22, 2015.On June 15, 2016, she reached the necessary number of delegates for the presumptive Green nomination. On August 1, 2016, Stein announced that she had selected international human rights activist Ajamu Baraka as her running mate.Stein officially received the Green Party presidential nomination on August 6, 2016, at the party's nominating convention in Houston, Texas.

John Hardin Young

John "Jack" Hardin Young is a trial lawyer who has a reputation for work in election law and electoral recounts. He was on the team of lawyers for the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 Florida election recount and the Bush v. Gore case, and is portrayed in the HBO film "Recount". He is widely known for being the first advocate for a statewide recount strategy that could have resulted in a win for Gore.Young is currently senior counsel at Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein & Birkenstock where he focuses on election law, including regulatory policy, corporate litigation, and dispute resolution. Young served on the Board of Governors for the American Bar Association. He is the Chair of the 63,000 member Senior Lawyer Division of the ABA for the year 2017–2018.

Young is also an adjunct a professor of international and comparative election law at The College of William & Mary Law School and has taught at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and George Mason School of Law.

Mac Stipanovich

John McKager "Mac" Stipanovich (born November 26, 1948) is a Florida Republican activist and lobbyist. He may be best known for his role in the 2000 Florida election recount, in which he helped advise Katherine Harris.

Saturday Night Live (season 26)

The twenty-sixth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between October 7, 2000, and May 19, 2001.

This season featured satire of the 2000 U.S presidential election, including the Republican and Democratic primaries, the campaigns of Vice President Gore, Texas Governor George W. Bush, and Ralph Nader, the Florida election recount, and the Bush v. Gore case that came before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Supreme Injustice

Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000 is a book by Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz criticized as partisan the U.S. Supreme Court's 5–4 majority decision in Bush v. Gore, which ended the Florida election recount.

Dershowitz also said that the majority justices "shamed themselves and the Court on which they serve, and...defiled their places in history" and called the decision "the most perverse misuse of the Equal Protection Clause I've seen in my 40 years of law."

William K. Kelley

William K. Kelley served as Deputy Counsel to United States President George W. Bush. He worked as a deputy to White House Counsel Harriet Miers prior to her departure from the White House, and Counsel Fred Fielding, who succeeded Miers.Kelley is a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School who took a leave of absence to work at the White House. He returned to Notre Dame in the 2007-2008 academic year. He earned his B.A. from Marquette University in 1984 and his J.D. from Harvard in 1987. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1990, Professor Kelley clerked for Kenneth W. Starr on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington, D.C. (1987–88), as well as for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (1988–89).

Kelley worked with the Office of the Special Counsel when Kenneth Starr was investigating the Whitewater / Monica Lewinsky incidents, writing the brief for the case. During the Florida election recount, Kelley was a member of the so-called Cabal, a group of former law clerks to conservative Supreme Court justices. The clerks argued the Supreme Court justices would want to grant certiorari to hear the controversy that would become, Bush v. Gore.

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