Election Recounts 101
It’s not a few hundred votes in Florida like in 2000, but several states may soon start their processes of election recounts. So, what does that mean for your newsroom coverage?
Let’s take a look at recount policies across the states that may see one soon, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
- In Georgia, a losing candidate can request a recount if they are within 0.5% of the leading candidate. Georgia’s Secretary of State already announced an audit of the results, which triggers a recount in the presidential race. After the state certifies the results, a losing candidate can also request a machine recount.
The AUDIT will start immediately as a full by-hand recount of the presidential voting.
Then the state will certify by Nov. 20
After that, losing candidate has 2 business days to request the official RECOUNT.
Regs state that recount must be done by machines.
— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) November 11, 2020
- In Wisconsin, any candidate can request a recount, which must be completed within 13 days of the recount order. However, that candidate can only request a recount once all the counties in the state finish canvassing the vote.
- In Pennsylvania, to conduct a recount, the Secretary of the Commonwealth has to determine that a candidate lost by “one-half of one percent or less” of the votes cast. See the complete state’s complete directive on recounts here:
- In Arizona, the automatic recount threshold for races with more than 25,000 votes cast is within 200 votes. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has already ruled out a presidential election recount.
- In Nevada, a candidate in any election can request a recount. The deadline to complete the recount is within 10 days of the request.
And in Nevada, just like anyone can in win a casino, any loser can request a recount.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) November 4, 2020
- In Michigan, an automatic recount is triggered if the vote is within 2,000 votes. A candidate can also request a recount if they feel they’re “aggrieved” by fraud or mistake. For context, a federal judge ended Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s recount effort in Michigan in 2016 because she had no chance of winning, she wasn’t aggrieved.