State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Commonwealth Court race within the recount margin

Written by Scott Detrow, StateImpact Pennsylvania Reporter | May 18, 2011 9:39 PM

The Democratic race for Commonwealth Court could be headed for a recount. The decision on whether or not to re-tally votes will be made next week, when counties submit official returns to the Department of State.

603,801 Democratic voters supported either Katheryn Boockvar or Barbara Ernsberger Tuesday. Speaking Wednesday afternoon, Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele explained just how slim Boockvar’s unofficial 50.3 to 49.8 percent lead is. “Right now, as of about an hour ago, the difference between the two candidates was 2,794 votes, which is within the half of the one percent,” she said.

If the difference between the two candidates stays less than a half a percentage point once counties certify the results next week, Aichele will announce an automatic recount, unless the trailing candidate waives her right for another tally.

The effort would be expensive, with an estimated cost of more than $500,000. “I have been through a recount in Chester County, as the county commissioner,” explained Aichele. “And we went over in many cases, provisional ballots ballot by ballot. So it’s labor-intensive.” DOS assumes each ballot box would cost about $50 to count. With more than 9,000 precincts throughout Pennsylvania, the cost would add up quickly.

Last year’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor primary and the 2009  Superior Court election both fell within the half-percent margin, but both times, challengers conceded and waived their right to a recount.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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