BROOKSVILLE — Recounts to provide closure for two Hernando County squeakers left over from Election Day are set for next week.
The elections canvassing board decided Friday morning to begin a machine recount at 9 a.m. on Monday to verify results in the races for the School Board District 5 seat and the Spring Hill Fire Rescue Commission.
Elections staffers will feed 59,565 ballots back through electronic scanners on Monday, said Elections Supervisor Annie Williams, who serves on the canvassing board along with County Judge Donald Scaglione and County Commission Chairman John Druzbick.
If the results hold, that will trigger a manual recount of so-called over-votes and under-votes, Williams said. These are ballots that were not counted because a voter did not make a selection in the race or filled in more than one choice. The review is done to verify that the ballots were properly discarded.
After that, the elections will be considered final and then certified.
The recounts will take at least a full day, Williams said. The counts will continue Tuesday if necessary.
On Thursday, the canvassing board counted provisional, absentee and touch-screen ballots and the unofficial results in the two races remained essentially unchanged from Election Day: Retired educator Cynthia Moore had more votes than four-term incumbent Sandra Nicholson in the School Board race, and Ken Fagan was ahead of Rusty Amore in the race for a second seat on the fire board.
Moore had a 41-vote advantage over Nicholson, a margin of victory of 0.08 percent.
Fagan had a seven-vote lead over Amore, with a total of 42,581 votes cast. That's a margin of victory of 0.02 percent.
State law requires a recount when the margin is less than one-half of 1 percent.
Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.