Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Recount on Friday for House District; Elections Office Update Adds Votes, but Fant's 3-Vote Margin Holds

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Recount on Friday for House District; Elections Office Update Adds Votes, but Fant's 3-Vote Margin Holds

Article excerpt

Byline: David Bauerlein

The amazingly close election for Florida House District 15 is headed to a recount Friday to determine whether Jay Fant's thin lead holds up over Paul Renner.

The latest update on the Duval County Supervisor of Election's site shows Fant received 5,960 votes and Renner reeled in 5,957 votes in a tense contest between two political newcomers seeking to replace Daniel Davis in the House seat for Jacksonville's Westside.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said the recount tentatively is set to start at 10 a.m. Friday.

"Believe me, on that close a race, a recount can vary by a couple of votes," Holland said Wednesday. "So a recount is very important for them on the final decision of that race."

He estimated it would cost up to $100,000 to conduct the recount for District 15 and also a close School Board contest. The cost of the recount involves pay for temporary employees and overtime expenses, including on election night when workers put in long hours to tally absentee ballots in the Fant-Renner contest.

Holland said $100,000 is the high end of the cost and he hopes to get "way under that because of our technology advances."

He said elections officials will backtrack every step of the election process to essentially "reconstruct the election" and ensure all valid votes get counted.

"We're not looking at this being a fast process," Holland said. "We're looking at this being an accurate process."

In addition to the Fant-Renner race, a recount also is slated for the Duval County School Board District 2 race.

Sam Hall leads Theresa Graham by a mere three votes for second place in that election. Either Hall or Graham will move on to face Scott Shine, the leading vote-getter, in a November runoff contest.

Florida election law automatically requires a machine recount if the difference in votes is less than 0. …

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