Presidential Ballot Recount Denied In Centre County

Nov 30, 2016

Voters waited on Monday at the elections office in Bellefonte to submit their recount affidavits.
Credit Emily Reddy / WPSU

A presidential recount effort in Centre County has failed. The County Board of Elections denied affidavits submitted by voters in 28 precincts asking that the ballots be reexamined.

Voters can request a recount by affidavit within five days after the closing of the ballot count. Centre County commissioner and elections board member Steve Dershem says the count closed on Nov. 17, so when the voters submitted their affidavits yesterday it was too late.

He says the fact that a recount would have been laborious wasn’t a part of the decision to deny it.

“Most of the conversation was over once we realized that the five day window had closed," Dershem said. "And on the advice of our solicitor, we proceeded to certify the election results.”

Monday was 11 days after the count closed, but those involved in the recount effort interpreted the five day window as five business days. With weekends and office closures on Thanksgiving and the day after, Monday was the fifth business day after the ballot count ended.

Dershem also pointed out that the county’s automatic hand-counted audit of 2 percent of the vote showed no discrepancies.

Jill Stein has a separate lawsuit for a statewide recount that goes to the courts on Monday.