Sam Reed: Monitoring Washington elections

Sam Reed: Monitoring Washington elections

Secretrary of State Sam Reed's responsibilities include overseeing elections is Washington state. Photo provided.

A part of Sam Reed’s job as Washington’s secretary of state, is chief election official.

Reed, who is retiring this year, might best be remembered for overseeing the state’s 2004
gubernatorial election – the closest in U.S. history – and the recount that

“We made sure that everything we did was in public view,” he said. “If
there were mistakes I was the first one to announce them and here is
what we are going to do about them.”

That chapter in Washington election history exposed weak points in the state’s
voting system. Reed spent the last eight years attempting to
strengthen it, including introducing a vote-by-mail system last year.

By Joe Henke, News21


What if Wisconsin recall comes down to a recount?

Polling places in the Wisconsin recall election between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will open at 7 a.m. CDT Tuesday, but a narrowing race could leave candidates waiting months for results.

Recent public opinion polls by Angus Reid and Public Policy Polling indicate a tightening race. Reid has Walker ahead by six points, 53 percent to 47 percent. PPP gives Walker a three-point advantage, 50-47 percent.

A narrow margin of victory for either candidate could prompt a recount, although in Wisconsin there is no automatic trigger. Candidates may request that votes be tallied again. Elections decided by less than a .5 percent margin can be recounted at no cost to the candidate, according to Wisconsin law.  If the margin of victory is more than .5 percent and less than 2 percent, candidates are required to pay $5 for every ward they request a recount.

If the election is decided by more than 2 percent, candidates who petition for a recount must assume all costs.

Within five days of a complete recount, candidates dissatisfied with the results may then appeal to circuit court and, eventually, appeals court, likely postponing certifying a winner for months.

By Annelise Russell, News21