Election Laws


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Section 17-16-21

Recount procedures.

(a) Any person with standing to contest the election under Sections 17-16-40 and 17-16-47 may petition the canvassing authority for a recount of any or all precinct returns. The time period for requesting a recount begins with the production of the certificate of result and ends 48 hours after the official canvass of county returns. The canvassing authority is the canvassing board in general elections and the county executive committee in a party primary. The petitioner must be prepared to pay the cost of the recount and shall give security to cover these costs. The canvassing authority shall set the amount of the security based upon an estimate of actual costs. The costs shall be kept to a minimum by using county personnel or volunteer workers whenever possible. However, the recount must be conducted under the supervision of a trained and certified precinct election official. Representatives of opposing interests shall be given at least 24 hours' notice and shall be invited to participate in the recount.

(b) The recount should be conducted as simply as the type of equipment and local conditions permit provided that the following minimum safeguards are observed. The container or envelope holding the ballots shall be delivered unopened to the inspector in charge of the recount. The sheriff or sheriff's representative shall be present during the recount. The electronic voting machine shall be retested before the recount. The recount shall consist of reading the ballots through the counter. Any ballot that was counted in the original election but is rejected by the counter in the recount shall be counted by hand. Representatives of opposing interests have the right to participate in the hand count, and any unresolved disputes over the interpretation of the voter's intent may be appealed to the canvassing authority.

(c) When the recount has been completed, the ballots shall be returned to their container along with a printout of the recount results. The ballot container shall be sealed and signed by the inspector conducting the recount and the sheriff or sheriff's representative.

(d) If the recount produces a change in precinct totals of sufficient magnitude to alter the result of the election, the outcome shall constitute grounds for an election contest as now prescribed by law. If the recount of the resulting contest alters the result of the election, the cost of the recount shall be borne by the county.

(Act 2006-570, p. 1331, §81.)
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