After a campaign that in recent weeks soared to about $9 million in outside money – one of the most expensive House races in the country -- the outcome of the Rep. Mike McIntyre/Sen. David Rouzer race on Election Day was too close to call. It is headed for a recount that will not result in an official winner for another two or three weeks.
A mere 507 votes separated the two. But there about 4,500 provisional ballots not yet counted in the seven counties that are fully or almost completely within the congressional district, which slices through pieces of another five counties and additional provisional votes there.
The true margin between the candidates won’t be known until the provisionals and mailed-in absentee ballots are counted.
Provisional ballots will be counted this week. Mailed absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 5 and received before 5 p.m. Friday will be added. Beginning the morning of Nov. 16, county elections boards begin canvassing their results and certifying them to the state.
Candidates who lose by no more than 1 percent of the vote can request recounts. They must request it by noon Nov. 20. If recount requests are received while canvassing is still going on, recounts could start as early as Nov. 19. Otherwise, recounts would begin Nov. 26, according to state Elections Director Gary Bartlett.
So for now, both sides are waiting to see how the numbers add up.