Virginia Board of Elections employees count the receipts from voting machines in 2006 in Richmond. It’s possible the state could see a recount in its Senate race this year.
The threshold: Only a certified tie triggers an automatic recount. However, the unsuccessful candidate can request a recount at the state’s expense if the margin is less than a quarter of 1 percent. The process: County election administrators must announce a recount and give the public an opportunity to observe the process. In a hand recount, the candidates can challenge individual ballots, then a recount board can set aside questionable ballots for later review. The fine print: The apparent unsuccessful candidate can request a recount at their own expense if the margin is between a quarter and a half of 1 percent.
Rep. Rick Berg (R) vs. former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D)
The threshold: There’s an automatic recount if the apparent victor wins by less than half of 1 percent of his or her total votes. A candidate can request a recount at their own expense if the margin is less than 2 percent. The process: Ballots are recounted in their original manner (optical scan, paper, etc.), one by one, while a recount board rules on any challenged ballots. Candidates can request full hand recount. The fine print: The state has no voter registration. Separate from a recount, the parties can contest the election to challenge voter standing.
The threshold: There’s an automatic recount if the margin is less than a quarter of 1 percent in a statewide contest. Otherwise, a losing candidate or a group of five voters can request a recount at their own expense. The process: The Board of Elections runs the recount and handles the ballots. It is required to notify participating parties in advance of its counting sessions. The fine print: If the recount changes the results of the election, the new losing candidate can apply for a recount in any remaining precincts that were already recounted.
Former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) vs. former Sen. George Allen (R)
The threshold: A candidate can request a recount if the margin between the top two candidates is less than 1 percent. The petitioner has 10 days to file after certification. The process: Officials hand-count paper ballots and the printouts from electronic voting machines. Officials will rerun ballots cast via optical scan, setting aside questionable ballots. The fine print: Local officials won’t certify results until late November, so a recount would most likely ensue in December.
The threshold: Only a candidate can initiate a recount for office after the canvass board is complete. The process: The County Board of Canvassers counts the ballots in the same manner that they were tallied on Election Day (optical scan, etc.). The candidates can request a hand recount. The fine print: The state carries the cost of the recount if the margin between the top two candidates is less than half of 1 percent.
Top House Races in ‘Orphan States’
18th district: Sean Patrick Maloney (D) vs. Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) 19th district: Julian Schreibman (D) vs. Rep. Chris Gibson (R) 27th district: Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) vs. former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R)
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.