Election recount requires formal request; no automatic recounts occur in California | TheUnion.com

Election recount requires formal request; no automatic recounts occur in California

There are only a handful of ways to get a recount in California, and the automatic option isn’t on the list.

There are no automatic recounts of all votes cast in an election because no law exists allowing them, said Alison Barratt-Green, Nevada County counsel.

“If there is no statutory authority to do something, then you can’t do it,” she said. “It’s the absence of a statute.”

With around 1,000 votes uncounted, a few local elections remain too close to call.

If someone wanted a recount in one of those races, the likely method is for a registered voter to request and pay for it.

“They have an absolute right to request that,” Barratt-Green said.

That request must occur within five days after an election’s certification. That certification hasn’t happened yet, because all votes haven’t been counted.

Certification must occur within 30 days of the June 5 election.

Two other options exist for those seeking a recount, though they’re rare, Barratt-Green said.

The county elections official could call for a recount, if he or she believes a miscount has occurred.

Additionally, the Board of Supervisors or a grand jury can request the district attorney ask a Superior Court judge for a recount. The district attorney must base the request on one of two arguments: misconduct that affected the election’s outcome or errors that cast doubts on its accuracy.

In that scenario, a court hearing would occur before any decision was made. Any “interested party” could oppose the recount.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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