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UPDATED: Price tag for full Pierce Transit recount: $200,000

Post by Kim Bradford on Nov. 8, 2012 at 11:40 am with No Comments »
November 8, 2012 12:57 pm

Forget the governor’s race. Pierce Transit’s tax measure has emerged as the tightest contest going.

In today’s paper, Alexis Krell reported the closing gap between the yes and no votes on Proposition 1, which would add three-tenths of 1 percent to the local sales tax rate to help fund bus service.

One quirk with ballot measures: Unlike races for elected office, close vote counts on ballot measures don’t prompt automatic recounts. Only if one side or the other decides to fork over the money, would the ballots be recounted.

Auditor Julie Anderson told me today that a complete recount would cost $200,000. Here she provides some additional information about how a recount would work.

Our estimate for a Prop 1 recount is generally $200,000. If one of the campaigns requests a recount, a deposit would be required. We estimate $55,218 deposit for hand recount and $33,130 deposit for a machine recount.

Recounts can’t be requested until after the Nov 27 certification. Then, we have a notice period. We’d get start in the first week of December. We could conclude the recount within 7-10 calendar days. Please keep in mind that the most labor-intensive part of a recount is FINDING and isolating the applicable ballots, which are mixed into legislative districts.

UPDATE: I followed up with a question about whether a partial, cheaper recount (say, of ballots from areas that one side thinks should have trended differently) would be allowed. She said yes:

Either party can request a recount of the votes or a portion of the votes.

An application for a recount must be filed within two business days after the certification (Nov 27).

The request must specify whether it is for all or only a portion of the votes.

Also, at any time before the ballots listed on the application have been recounted, the applicant may file a request to stop the recount (could save them money!).

When a partial recount changes the RESULT of the election, then we are obliged to conduct a complete recount of all ballots.

Kate Whiting with the pro-transit campaign said today it is waiting to see the final outcome and how far apart the vote is before making a decision on a recount. Nick Sherwood of the anti-Prop. 1 campaign – which is funded largely by car dealers who would see the sales tax rate their customers pay jump to 10.1 percent if the measure passes – told Alexis yesterday that he assumed one side or another would end up ordering a recount.

Voting & Elections
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