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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

 4:11 PM 

Assembly signs off on tweaks to election recount fees

The Assembly concurred on SB 96, which would tweak the rules and payments for election recounts.

SB 96 is a companion to AB 124.

Essentially, AB 124 would make it harder for someone to get an election recount free of charge.

Current law allows for no charges to a petitioner if the vote difference is less than 10 and 1,000 or fewer votes were cast or if the difference is 0.5 percent or less when more than 1,000 votes are cast.

The law also requires a $5 per ward recount cost if the difference in votes is at least 10 when fewer than 1,000 ballots are cast or between 0.5 and 2 percent if more than 1,000 votes are cast. The law requires the petitioner pay the full cost of a recount if the difference exceeds 2 percent when more than 1,000 votes are cast.

The bill would do away with the $5 category and tweak the thresholds so a recount free of charge would kick in only if there were fewer than 10 votes separating the winner and loser in an election in which 4,000 or fewer ballots were cast. Under any other circumstance, the petitioner would pay for the recount but would receive a refund if the recount overturns the election results.

The bill passed the Assembly’s Campaigns and Elections Committee with a 5-3 party line vote.


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