Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`The Fair Thing to Do' Recount Set for Governor's Race

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`The Fair Thing to Do' Recount Set for Governor's Race

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Secretary of State Lewis Massey yesterday ordered a

recount of the Republican gubernatorial primary vote, a move

that could lead to a GOP runoff.

Massey said the statewide recount, which will be held Monday,

is "the fair thing to do."

"With a race this close, I believe it is better to err on the

side of fairness, and a recount will insure the accuracy of this

important election," said Massey, who Thursday suspended his

Democratic gubernatorial runoff bid.

While underdog Republican Mike Bowers picked up a lot of ground

on front-runner Guy Millner, the final GOP tally wasn't all that

close.

Millner won 210,535 votes, or 50.4 percent, to 166,923, or 39.9

percent for Bowers, according to an unofficial Secretary of

State's Office count. The other votes went to two long-shot

candidates, Nancy Schaefer and Bruce Hatfield.

Bowers requested the recount on Thursday, although he

acknowledges it may not change the result.

State officials automatically grant recounts when two

candidates' vote totals are separated by no more than 1

percentage point. However, Bowers also argued that Massey, whose

office oversees elections, should grant a recount because he

missed an Aug. 11 runoff with Millner by 1,493 votes, or a

little more than a third of a percent.

A runoff is held between the top two voter-getters if no

candidate receives a majority. Millner got a majority in the

unofficial tally but could be dragged below 50 percent in a

recount.

Massey cited vote-counting problems in Lowndes, Cobb, Henry and

Newton counties among his reasons for granting the recount.

"We were less than 48 hours from the election [Thursday] and we

already had allegations of potential discrepancies in four

counties. They are human errors, not massive voter fraud,"

Massey added. …

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