Recounts are rare and seldom lead to a different winner
Posted November 28
Recounts in major statewide elections are extremely rare — and they seldom succeed in changing the result.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is seeking recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, states that went to President-elect Donald Trump.
There have been only 27 recounts out of 4,687 statewide elections across the country from 2000 through 2015, according to FairVote, a nonpartisan group that analyzes elections. Those thousands of statewide races range from U.S. president to mine inspector in Arizona.
The only recount in a presidential race was in Florida in 2000, according to FairVote, but it was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court with George W. Bush winning by 537 votes.
Recounts changed the results in three statewide races:
— In the 2008 race for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, Democrat Al Franken defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman by 312 votes. Coleman was ahead by 215 votes before the recount, which was automatic because of the tight margin.
— Tom Salmon won the race for Vermont auditor by 102 votes in 2006 after he requested a recount.
— The 2004 race for Washington governor was automatically recounted after Republican Dino Rossi was ahead by 261 votes. After a third count by hand, Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared the winner by 133 votes.