The State Board of Elections said Wednesday that it doesn’t yet know the full cost of a statewide recount under way in the race for auditor.
Most counties have begun the process of feeding hundreds of thousands of ballots through tabulating machines, and many will complete the count by Thursday.
“There is no official deadline but Kim (Strach, executive director) has asked that counties notify her if they won’t be finished by Thursday afternoon,” State Board of Elections spokesman Patrick Gannon said.
A Thursday finish will allow the state board to finalize all election results at its 9 a.m. meeting Friday. The state is not footing the bill for the recount.
“We don’t have a cost estimate, as the costs are the responsibility of the counties and many of them won’t know until afterwards,” Gannon said.
Durham County’s partial recount in the governor’s race was expected to cost about $35,000. The county is among the first to complete its auditor recount because the partial recount provided a head start – the 90,000 ballots included in the first recount don’t have to be counted again.
The Durham County Board of Elections was scheduled to meet Wednesday to certify the auditor recount results.
Recounts are a labor intensive process. Counties are encouraged to scan 600 to 900 ballots per hour, and each machine requires a two-person, paid bipartisan team to operate it.
The auditor recount was requested by Republican Chuck Stuber, who trails incumbent Democrat Beth Wood by 5,993 votes, according to the board of elections count.