Those of you reading today’s story about the election results might be
wondering what all the rules are for a recount. You’re thinking
knowledge of this might come in handy at that next mixer, or when
you have to talk when the band takes a break. This is information
sure to impress would-be suitors. Well, it would have impressed me
back when I was . . . suiting. Then again I was impressed by anyone
who could find Russia on a map.
I can’t profess to give you all of them, but here are a few.
The standards for automatic recounts (Those the county or state
pays for whether any candidate wants one or not. I say that because
I’m sure there are some candidates who are relieved to lose, who
love to give speeches and mix with the people, but don’t relish the
idea of actually learning the finer details of accounting and fecal
treatment for four years.) per RCW 29A.64.021 are they are done by
machine if the two contenders are within a half percentage point of
each other and within 2,000 votes.
In Kitsap County the Bremerton Transportation Proposition 1 (the
car tabs initiative), the Bainbridge school bond and EMS levy, a
few school board races, some unopposed candidates and the Port of
Bremerton commissioner contest were the ones that beat the
2,000-vote margin. As of Monday, all were beating the
half-percentage point standard.
For a hand recount the standard is that the contenders are
within a quarter percentage point of each other and within 150
votes. In statewide races the rule is within 1,000 votes and that
quarter percentage point.
Should a candidate want a recount even if the totals don’t call
for an automatic one, they can pay for it themselves, but if the
recount proves that the first or second count was wrong you and I
pay for it when we order the biscuits and gravy at Pat’s or return
that Valentine’s letter some of us get every year.
From RCW 29A.64.081
The canvassing board shall determine the expenses for conducting
a recount of votes.
The cost of the recount shall be deducted from the amount
deposited by the applicant for the recount at the time of filing
the request for the recount, and the balance shall be returned to
the applicant. If the costs of the recount exceed the deposit, the
applicant shall pay the difference. No charges may be deducted by
the canvassing board from the deposit for a recount if the recount
changes the result of the nomination or election for which the
recount was ordered.
In Kitsap County the deposit required is 15 cents a ballot for a
manual recount and 25 cents each for a hand recount. For Bremerton
City Councilman Brad Gehring, should he decide to ask for a recount
in his council race against Jim McDonald it would be about $135 for
a machine count and about $225 for a hand count.
Asked Monday if he would ask for a recount should the totals
fall outside automatic recount range, Gehring said he would not. “I
can’t afford to do that,” he said.