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What's Involved With The Ada County Vote Recount?

election day, voting
Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio

Monday morning, Ada County kicks off a recount of ballots cast in the November election. A community college levy and a state legislative race are on the docket.

County Clerk Elect Phil McGrane says when the vote margin is within one-tenth of 1 percent, the recount is free. The College of Western Idaho fell just 144 votes short in its quest for $48 million dollars to build a new health science building and asked Ada and Canyon Counties to hold a recount. The Senate race in District 15 was also extremely close, with a six vote difference, so Ada County will be checking those numbers as well.

Ada’s recount starts with a hand recount of 5 percent of the ballots. Then those ballots will be counted by machines.

“What that is [is] it’s testing the machines to make sure that the machines we used on election day, they’re reading accurately to what someone who’s just looking at the ballot, what they intended,” says McGrane.

For the CWI vote, that means almost 10,000 ballots will be hand counted by 40 people. That will take a day or more. Then the rest of the ballots have to be counted by machine.

“We had a little over 192,000 ballots cast here in Ada County. And so we will be recounting all of those,” says McGrane.

He says recounts aren’t that rare in Idaho, but it’s rare that they make a difference in who wins. But this recount will give his office a good workout, when it comes to vote counting.

“We’re aimed at accuracy, that’s our big thing, and this is a really healthy test for the system so that everybody who voted has confidence in the vote that they cast,” says McGrane.

McGrane says the recount will start each day at 8 a.m., go until 6 at night and take about a week and a half.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.