Recount results typical; marginal changes seen statewide

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 18, 2010

Covington County’s Republican gubernatorial primary recount outcome is being mirrored in other counties throughout the state.

As of Thursday, more than two-thirds of the ballots from the June 1 primary were recounted. Today, the process should be completed.

Tim James requested the recount after coming in third behind Dr. Robert Bentley by 167 votes.

Unofficial tallies from both parties showed James still in third place.

Locally, the three-vote difference found Tuesday will not factor into the overall James numbers, chief Probate clerk Karen Lawson said Thursday.

“James received one, as did Bradley Byrne and Bill Johnson,” Lawson said. “So, for a lack of a better description, they all cancel each other out.”

Lawson said probate officials and those from Elections Software and Systems (ESS), the company responsible for the election’s computer program, have determined “under votes” are behind the county’s three-vote difference.

“When you have a ballot that goes through the machine that doesn’t have at an office marked – we call that an under vote,” she said. “On election night, you have ballots that may not have marked a vote for governor or made a mark the machine didn’t recognize or wasn’t clear enough to read.

“For the recount, the computers were programmed to read just the votes for the governor’s race and those under vote ballots were kicked back to us,” she said. “In a recount, it’s up to the chief inspector to determine the intent of the voter in those cases.”

Lawson said on Election night, there were 83 under votes counted; at the recount, 80.

“So there’s our three votes,” she said.