Recount Rules

Get the guidelines for expected close-call states— including Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin.

Alaska: Recounts only a result of complete tie. Otherwise, candidates and voters have five days within the state’s vote review to request recount. Recounts last a maximum of 10 days. More details here.

Colorado: Recounts happen if vote margin is 0.5% or less. (NOTE: Margin is calculated by dividing vote difference by winner’s total votes.) Candidates can request recount with 24 days of the election if margin is larger. Canvassing board tests ballot machines’ accuracy before beginning recount process. In cases with malfunctioning machines, officials resort to paper audit trail. The Secretary of State issues recount guidelines and rules. More details here.

Florida: Automatic paper ballot recount if vote margin 0.5% or less. Hand recount of undervotes and overvotes required if that margin is 0.25% or less. (NOTE: Undervotes and overvotes total must be able to change initial outcome to trigger hand recount.) More details here.

Illinois: After vote is canvassed, any defeated candidate with total votes at least 95% percent winner’s can request a recount. Candidates requesting recount choose one quarter of the precincts to be included in the recount. Recount begins only after court deems it necessary. More details here.

Nevada: Any candidate can file recount request with the Secretary of State within three days of the state Supreme Court canvassing voters. Then, votes at selected precincts are recounted by county clerks. Machine recount triggered only if partial recount numbers match the canvas results. Hand count is required for large differences. More details here.

Ohio: Automatic recount if vote margin is 0.25% or less. All candidates and voters can request recounts. More details here.

Washington: Automatic recount if vote margin less than 200 voters and 0.5%. Hand recount mandatory if margin is less than 100 votes and 0.25%. Candidates can request recounts of non-electronic ballots. (Note: If recount results in different election outcome, full recount is required.) More details here.

Wisconsin: Recounts must be started by voters or candidates, who can petition for a hand recount. More details here.

Related Topics: Democratic Party, Midterm Elections, News, Republican Party

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