NRCC gears up for recounts and election challenges
posted at 2:55 pm on November 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
It ain’t over ’til it’s over, Yogi Berra famously advised, and that’s as true in elections as it is in baseball. While the Senate race in Alaska gets most of the attention in the post-midterm press coverage, several House races are yet to be concluded as well, including one that had been called for the GOP in North Carolina. The NRCC has now started to press donors to provide them resources to give assistance to the following races in its new website campaign, “Still Counting“:
- NY-01: Randy Altschuler leads by 393 votes
- NY-25: Ann Marie Buerkle leads by 659 votes
- CA-11: David Harmer trails by 628 votes
- CA-20: Andy Vidak leads by 145 votes
- IL-08: Joe Walsh leads by 437 votes
- KY-06: Andy Barr trails by 649 votes
The NRCC is also highlighting the case of Renee Ellmers, our friend in NC-02, who beat Bob Etheridge by 1600 votes on Election Day. That number had been over 2000, but as Renee told us last week, three early-voting ballot boxes didn’t get counted as part of the total due to a clerical error, which when corrected gave Etheridge a boost of about 450 votes. Ellmers isn’t yet sure that her race will go to a recount but is preparing for one nonetheless, assuming that Etheridge will insist on one if the absentee ballots narrow the gap. She has her own website for recount donations, and it’s good to see the NRCC highlighting the standoff as a priority along with the rest of the recounts.
The NRCC also lists TX-27 as a race that will need resources, but as Seton Motley reports, this should end up in the Republican column as a takeaway:
Provisional ballots are usually cast if someone shows up to vote and is not on the books. It could be a clerical error and he/she should be; it could be voter error – either he/she is at the wrong precinct or didn’t register to vote. Regardless, in most cases the vast majority of these ballots are not properly cast and are therefore not counted. An average of only about 10% make the final tally – the rest are people voting who should not have been voting.
Very Democrat Cameron County’s Election Administrator Roger Ortiz (we’re not sure if there’s any relation to the flailing soon-to-be ex-Congressman) said Monday that the number of provisional votes cast in his neck of the woods had magically increased from the 89 initially reported to 110.
In Nueces County – which Farenthold carried – there are 144 provisional ballots cast and 12 military/overseas ballots to be reviewed and counted, Nueces County Clerk Diana T. Barrera said.
But here’s the rub – there are in total in the entire district 735 remaining provisional and overseas votes cast by mail awaiting review and counting. Ortiz, Inc. trails by 792 votes.
Which means if every single provisional vote is legitimate, and every single one of them AND the mail-in ballots are ALL cast for Ortiz – which would be David Copperfield-esque – HE STILL LOSES THE RACE.
That looks as though Ortiz is trying to drag this out as long as possible to demand a further recount, but the numbers aren’t with him. That is, they aren’t with him now. The NRCC’s interest in this race is well founded.
Some criticized the NRCC for not directing post-election resources to these contests immediately, but based on information from my contacts within the NRCC, they didn’t have the resources to give. The NRCC spent everything it had before Election Day, and needs to get more resources now in order to protect its candidates in these recount processes. People can also donate directly to candidates, as the previous campaign limits don’t apply to recount fundraising, but the NRCC can act as a conduit for those efforts as well.