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Election officials prepare for manual recount

Profile image for By Bj Lewis
By Bj Lewis

Denton County election officials are preparing for a manual recount in the County Criminal Court No. 3 race between incumbent Judge David Garcia and his challenger, Denton County prosecutor George Mitcham.

Mitcham lost to Garcia, according to results from the March 4 election. But after trailing by 39 votes at the end of election night and then trailing by only 29 votes after the provisional ballots and mail-in ballots were counted, Mitcham said the race was too close for him.

“This request is strictly based on the narrow margin between the candidates, the possibility of error, oversight or malfunction in the vote tabulation and is in no way a negative reflection of the professionals that work in the elections division,” Mitcham wrote in a news release.

He gave the documentation and the deposit for the recount to Denton County Republican Party Chairwoman Dianne Edmondson at 11:30 a.m. March 14.

The recount could cost up to $15,900 at $100 per precinct. There are 158 precincts in Denton County and early voting is counted as one precinct.

Denton County Elections Administrator Frank Phillips said Mitcham requested a manual recount.

“Our goal right now is to start Wednesday morning,” he said. “We’re in the process now of getting people together to schedule the counting teams and getting our stuff in order so we’re prepared for the recount.”

Phillips said there will be a couple teams of three people counting the ballots. As for when the recount would be completed, Phillips did not have an exact answer.

“We’re talking about having to count somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 pieces of paper. I think a week is a better guess than a day,” he said. “It won’t be fast. It will be slow and methodical.”

Garcia could not be reached for comment Monday.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.