Prepare for a deluge of recounts after election

If history is any guide, there will be several House races and probably a couple of Senate races that end up so close after the votes are counted that a recount will be mandated.

There will also be the usual charges of fraud and vote stealing by both sides, which will put pressure on state election officials to investigate these claims.

Will it be worse this time around?

With so much at stake this year, and with the lessons and emotions of Minnesota 2008 and Florida 2000 lingering, recounts will almost certainly trigger an all-out assault from Washington-based election stars such as Marc Elias, who oversaw Franken's legal team; Ben Ginsberg, who was instrumental in helping George W. Bush beat Al Gore; and Chris Sautter, the Democratic recount guru who has been involved in just about every major recount since 1984. The parties are already mobilizing their volunteers and lawyers.
Election laws and standards vary from state to state, so no recount is the same. (Bush v. Gore was about shutting down the Florida recount, for instance, while Franken v. Coleman was about looking under every rock for more votes.) Fraud and shenanigans are rare. The results don't get twisted; they get verified.

But they get verified differently. Some states have mandatory recounts, triggered by margins of less than, say, one-half of 1 percent. Others, such as Nevada, which could be a recount hot spot next month, simply allow the trailing candidate to call for a recount if he or she thinks victory is at hand and is willing to pay for it. The odds are not great; flipping an election result via a recount is unusual, hinging on how many mistakes election officials made or how many previously uncounted or miscounted votes the losing candidate can pick up. And in a midterm election, with lower turnout than in presidential election years, mistakes are likely to be fewer.

Expect both sides to deploy an army of election law lawyers around the country as well as preparing "flying teams" of lawyers who can jet to a designated recount hot spot to lend their assistance and the weight of the national party to the proceedings.

While it appears that the GOP will far exceed the number of necessary seats to take over the House thus making recounts icing on the cake, the senate may be a different story. One or two close races that end up in court may spell the difference between majority and minority for either party. In those cases, expect blood on the floor as both sides will go at it hammer and tongs in court in order to gain an advantage.



If history is any guide, there will be several House races and probably a couple of Senate races that end up so close after the votes are counted that a recount will be mandated.

There will also be the usual charges of fraud and vote stealing by both sides, which will put pressure on state election officials to investigate these claims.

Will it be worse this time around?

With so much at stake this year, and with the lessons and emotions of Minnesota 2008 and Florida 2000 lingering, recounts will almost certainly trigger an all-out assault from Washington-based election stars such as Marc Elias, who oversaw Franken's legal team; Ben Ginsberg, who was instrumental in helping George W. Bush beat Al Gore; and Chris Sautter, the Democratic recount guru who has been involved in just about every major recount since 1984. The parties are already mobilizing their volunteers and lawyers.
Election laws and standards vary from state to state, so no recount is the same. (Bush v. Gore was about shutting down the Florida recount, for instance, while Franken v. Coleman was about looking under every rock for more votes.) Fraud and shenanigans are rare. The results don't get twisted; they get verified.

But they get verified differently. Some states have mandatory recounts, triggered by margins of less than, say, one-half of 1 percent. Others, such as Nevada, which could be a recount hot spot next month, simply allow the trailing candidate to call for a recount if he or she thinks victory is at hand and is willing to pay for it. The odds are not great; flipping an election result via a recount is unusual, hinging on how many mistakes election officials made or how many previously uncounted or miscounted votes the losing candidate can pick up. And in a midterm election, with lower turnout than in presidential election years, mistakes are likely to be fewer.

Expect both sides to deploy an army of election law lawyers around the country as well as preparing "flying teams" of lawyers who can jet to a designated recount hot spot to lend their assistance and the weight of the national party to the proceedings.

While it appears that the GOP will far exceed the number of necessary seats to take over the House thus making recounts icing on the cake, the senate may be a different story. One or two close races that end up in court may spell the difference between majority and minority for either party. In those cases, expect blood on the floor as both sides will go at it hammer and tongs in court in order to gain an advantage.



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