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The threshold: There’s no automatic recount under state law for House races.
The process: Candidates must sue for a recount, giving a reason why the machines were not reliable vote-counters.
The fine print: This could make for a legal mess. There’s relatively little in state law books about recounts.
The threshold: There’s no automatic recount. Instead, candidates can initiate a “discovery recount” if they acquire at least 95 percent of the winner’s vote totals.
The process: Candidates can only pick 25 percent of the precincts in any given county in the district. They can examine the ballots for mistakes or stray marks, as well as errors in ballot applications. Discovery recount results are not binding, and the findings can only serve as proof for an eventual lawsuit.
The fine print: A judge makes the final decision on whether a recount is warranted.
The threshold: Candidates must file a request for a recount in any or all counties in the district at their own expense.
The process: Officials may examine all ballots at the candidates’ request. County registrars run the recount, during which attorneys and observers can challenge ballots. Election officials make the final call on whether to allow the vote.
The fine print: The initiator does not have to pay for the recount if the results change the outcome of the election. But in California, it’s a rare circumstance for House races.
Source: Each state’s secretary of state or elections office, or Citizens for Election Integrity.