Recount results expected by early afternoon

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Final results of the Republican Primary Runoff Election for the South Carolina 5th Congressional District should be known by early afternoon, said S.C. Election Commission Director of Public Information & Training Chris Whitmire. In that election, Ralph Norman edged Tommy Pope by a little more than 200 votes out of more than 35,000 cast, close enough to mandate a recount.

Whitmire said all the county boards met Thursday and held their provisional ballot hearings, at which the county boards decided whether any provisional ballots they had would be counted.

"They've added those to their vote totals and sent us those vote totals," Whitmire said.

Those are reflected in the vote total shown at www.scvotes.org, he said.

Those results show that a mandatory recount is required by law, he said, but that will not be officially ordered until the state election commission meets at 10 a.m. today.

At its meeting, the Election Commission will do two things, Whitmire said.

"They will certify the results of the election and order the necessary recount," he said.

Whitmire said all the county boards will also meet at 10 a.m. and be on standby.

"We expect the recounts will begin at 10:30 a.m.," he said.

He said the county boards would basically repeat the process they did Tuesday.

"They will rescan all the paper ballots and reread all the electronic media from the polling places," he said.

The county boards will then meet and certify their results and transmit those to the state election commission.

Whitmire said there will be a link to the recount results at www.scvotes.org, right next to the primary results link.

The state election commission will meet again at 2 p.m., he said.

"If all the counties are done, they will certify the recount," Whitmire said. "If for some reason the counties are not done, the commission will go into recess until the recounts are done."

Whitmire said it is an open and transparent process and the public can observe,

"There are guidelines for that so they can do it in a way that they don't interfere," he said.

He said he expected the recount will be certified shortly after 2 p.m.