KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A recount of the votes cast for the 20th District state Senate race began Monday morning.
Democratic state Rep. Sean McCann requested the recount after he lost to Republican state Rep. Margaret O’Brien by 59 votes in the November election.
The final count showed O’Brien with 36,630 votes, or 45.52 percent. McCann has 36,571 votes, or 45.45 percent.
Volunteers from Kalamazoo County gathered at the County Health and Community Services building to count the votes. They were then split up into 15 teams of two.
The recount could take up to four days as volunteers are required to hand count each individual ballot. Officials say there were more than 80,000 ballots cast in 212 precincts and each vote has to be looked at carefully to see if it was filled out correctly.
Each candidate is allowed to have a representative at each table to observe.
“On the other side of the table are representatives of the candidates and their challengers. So they observe the process and are able to see each ballot as its counted,” said State Director of Elections Chris Thomas. “If they disagree with the way it’s counted they can challenge that. It’s held aside and comes to the county Board of Canvassers, where they’ll make a decision on it. If the candidates don’t like that they can appeal that to the Board of Canvassers. We have a representative here that can either support or overturn the county board. And after that if they’re dissatisfied they’ll come to Lansing before the full Board of State Canvassers.”
Once every ballot is looked over, the Board of Canvassers will verify the total and announce the winner.
O’Brien has said she’s confident her win will stand.