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)