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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2010
Vanderburgh County democrat party chairman files a recount and contest petition in the legislative race between Wendy McNamara and Bob Deig
INDIANAPOLIS (Nov.18, 2010) – Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced today a petition for recount was filed in the state representative race for House District 76.
According to the Indiana Election Division, Vanderburgh County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owen filed the petition Thursday afternoon. Wendy McNamara was declared the winner in HD 76 with an eight vote lead over Bob Deig.
“This is not unusual in a race this close for a recount petition to be filed,” Secretary Rokita said. “If the recount petition is granted, Recount Director Brad Skolnik will begin the initial process, which can include inspection of the materials by both parties and identification of any disputed ballots.”
Rokita, who serves as chairman of the recount commission, said 2008 was the last time a recount petition was filed. The recount affected the legislative race in House District 26 between Rep. Randy Truitt and John Polles – who petitioned for the recount. The recount commission met once and began recounting the ballots for Warren County and one precinct in Tippecanoe County. However, before the recount was fully completed the recount was dismissed after a joint motion by the candidates.
If the recount is granted, as chairman of the commission, Rokita will determine the location and time of the any commission meeting. Once determined, a public notice will be issued.
The recount process
Note: The following process applies to state level races. In the event of a county/local race, a judge presides over the recount process.
In the event a recount is granted for a state legislative race, the state’s recount director will secure all of the ballots from the district specified in the recount petition. From there, the State Board of Accounts, under the supervision of the recount director, will sort the ballots – the candidates and their representatives may be present to observe the categorization of ballots. During this process, the board is not counting the ballots; however, it is determining the validity of each ballot and separating the ballots into groups for “Candidate A,” “Candidate B,” and those ballots labeled as in dispute.
Once the sorting process is completed, the recount director and the State Board of Accounts will return the ballots and their information to the recount commission – comprised of an appointee of from both major parties and the Secretary of State, who serves as the recount commission chairman.
The recount commission will hear arguments for the ballots in dispute and make a decision regarding each disputed ballot. The commission will report the vote total and other findings to the Indiana House of Representatives for a final determination under the state constitution.
How long does a recount last?
State law provides that a recount in a legislative race must be completed by Dec. 20, 2010. However, the commission may vote to extend the recount to a specific date.
What is the total cost of a recount?
The candidate filing the recount must pay a $100 deposit and then $10 for every additional precinct after the first 10.
For example, House District 76 is composed of 60 precincts and two additional precincts in which no voter resides. Since the recount request all precincts to be recounted, the county chairman submitted a cash deposit of $600 – the amount prescribed by state law. The remaining expenses are paid from the state recount fund.
Estimated costs of a recount depend on the amount of hours, staff members and other resources deemed necessary to complete the task.
Todd W. Darroca
Director of Communications