Recanvass (Recount) of Close Elections

A re-canvass or recount is required in the case of a tie vote, a close vote, or a discrepancy. A close vote is one where the difference between winner and next highest vote getter is less than 20 votes or less than ½ of 1% of the total vote cast for the office.

A re-canvass must be held on or before the fifth business day after the election, which, since elections are held on a Tuesday, normally means by Tuesday of the following week.

The re-canvass is conducted under the authority and direction of the head moderator. All affected candidates are notified and the Registrars hire and notify the necessary election officials and make all the arrangements. The public is allowed to observe the process. All ballots are examined to determine if the tabulator could have and should have counted them in accordance with the voters’ intent. Where there is any doubt, the ballots are counted by hand. Where there is no doubt, the ballots are again scanned by the tabulator. Both absentee ballots and ballots voted in person on election day are examined. A Re-canvass Procedure Manual has been issued by the Secretary of the State.