With a couple of close legislative races around the state, the question arises of possible recounts. Betsie Kimbrough, state elections director in the Idaho Secretary of State’s office, has this explanation: “We don’t have automatic recounts.” But for the closest races – those where the margin is within five votes or one-tenth of one percent – a free recount is available.
Neither of Idaho’s close legislative races – Sen. Abby Lee’s 28-vote win over primary challenger Viki Purdy, or Rep. Don Cheatham’s 64-vote win over challenger Peter Riggs – meets that criteria. Lee’s was the closest at four-tenths of a percent. “So it doesn’t qualify for a free recount,” Kimbrough said. However, the losing candidate in either race – in any race, for that matter – can request a recount, if he or she pays the $100 per precinct cost.
Those requests can’t be made until after the state Board of Canvassers meets to certify the election results, which won’t be ‘til June 1. Then, the candidates would have 20 days after that to file a recount request with the Idaho Attorney General’s office.