Missoula County Elections Office, Missoula County Commissioners Gather to Recount Ballots in Senate District 49 Race
Missoula County Commissioners began tallying votes in a recount Friday morning for Senate District 49 between Democrat Diane Sands, the electee, and Republican Dick Haines who petitioned for a bonded recount. Rebecca Connors with the Missoula Elections Office says the recount board has been hard at work.
"We're working with over 8,000 ballots. That includes votes that went for Diane, for Dick and the also over-and-under votes. Over votes meaning they selected too many selections for that race, or under, they didn't cast a vote in that race," Connors said. "We dedicated about four hours to the resolution ballots. So, the first four hours are just dedicated to checking if those ballots, if they were recreated, were done so correctly, and everything checked out."
Connors said recounting is all done manually and should take around 12 to 17 hours to complete.
"This is a process we don't want to rush.This is all manual. We want to make sure we're accurate and precise," Connors said. "Our office is excited about this opportunity because we get questioned so much about if there's ever a chance to go back through ballots after an election just to confirm that the totals all check out and this is a great opportunity to do that."
As of Friday afternoon, there was 25 percent of the votes counted and Connors saw no change in the election results.