Evnen Raises Possiblity of Two Legislative Recounts if Candidates Will Pay

Nov. 4, 2020, 5:36 p.m. ·

Secretary of State Bob Evnen in the Capitol Wednesday (Photo by Fred Knapp, NET News)

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Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen said Wednesday two candidates trailing in races for the Nebraska Legislature could ask for a recount – if they’re willing to pay.

Nebraska law provides for automatic recounts in races where the leading candidate’s lead is less than one percent of that candidate’s total vote. So for example, if Candidate A gets 10,000 votes, and candidate B is 99 votes behind, they qualify for a recount at public expense. A candidate who’s trailing by more than that can request a recount, at their own expense. Secretary of State Bob Evnen brought that up in prepared remarks at a news conference Wednesday.

“There’s a two percent spread in the races for Legislative District Three -- that’s Rick Holdcroft vs. Carol Blood -- and Legislative District 49 -- Andrew LaGrone vs. Jen Day. Those at this point do not qualify for an automatic recount, but they’re at two percent, so if one of the candidates would like a recount they can have it at their own expense,” Evnen said.

According to the secretary of state’s website, as of Wednesday afternoon Day was ahead of LaGrone, 12,125 to 11,873.Blood led Holdcroft by 8,779 to 8,582 although he said some votes are still being counted. Both trailing candidates are registered Republicans in races for the officially nonpartisan Legislature. Their opponents are registered Democrats.

Evnen said he did not know how much a recount would cost. Holdcroft said that would be a major consideration. ”We did spend down to just about the last dime. So it would be probably – I don’t know, it would depend on how much it would cost,” Holdcroft said.

Republican National Committeeman J.L. Spray estimated a recount could cost anywhere between 2,500 and $5,000 in Sarpy County, where the races took place. Holdcroft said he would probably not challenge the results. LaGrone could not be reached for comment on his plans. For NET News, I’m Fred Knapp.