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Democratic Primary For Congressional District Two Goes To Hand Recount

Theresa Thompson

As residents dealt with the aftermath of Hermine last week, the Leon County Canvassing Board turned on its generators to power through recount in Congressional District Two.

Steve Crapps and Walter Dartland were so close in the Democratic Primary for Congressional District Two, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner called for a recount. In Leon County, Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho says that meant powering up generators just after Hurricane Hermine blew through the city.

“We had emergency power here at the voting operation center and in fact we continued the recount all day Saturday even though all of the board members, none of them had power at their own home, we worked here,” Sancho says.

Sancho’s team and the Leon County Canvassing Board worked on until 1 a.m.

“We were dedicated to this task. We worked through this processes. It was hard actually finding food to serve to the workers. That was one of our biggest problems because there wasn’t much open,” Sancho says.

But after the machine count was finished, Dartland and Crapps were within less 150 votes of each other-- That trigged a requirement for a hand count. Sancho says that means elections staff must look at every ballot the machine says is unreadable or has no vote, to ensure it’s right.

“Because individuals can make votes by circling the candidate, pointing arrows. So we’re going to make mathematically certain what is the accurate number of votes in the Second Congressional Democratic Race,” Sancho says.

Any questionable ballots go before the canvassing board.

The board did find two ballots with votes they ruled should be counted—one for Dartland and another for Crapps. Hand counts from every county in congressional district two were due to the Department of State’s Elections office by the end of the business day Tuesday.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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