James will recount Pike County votes

Published 6:58 pm Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Alabama GOP governor hopeful Tim James has requested a recount in Alabama in hopes of moving past fellow candidate Robert Bentley and into a July 13 runoff against Bradley Byrne.

Byrne has qualified for the runoff, and Bentley is currently in second, 167 votes ahead of James in third place.

According to an Associated Press report, James is seeking a recount in 40 of Alabama’s 67 counties, including Pike County.

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In Pike County, Byrne led the way with 28.95 percent of the vote, while Bentley received 28.1 percent, and James received 23.49 percent.

James received 876 votes total in Pike County, 172 votes behind Bentley’s 1,048.

Adam Drinkwater, chairman of the Pike County Republican Party, received his official petition for a recount Wednesday afternoon, as did Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen.

While the recount is coming, there are some problems to overcome.

First and foremost, Allen said there must be some form of financial arrangement before a recount will move forward in Pike County since the James campaign is responsible for paying for a recount.

“First of all, we’re going to wait for some kind of payment assurance from the candidate,” Allen said. “We want some security on that.”

The costs involve the costs of not only paying poll workers, but also servicing the machines used to count the ballots.

“The costs associated would mainly be hardware and software costs associated with the voting machines, but we would also have to pay for the poll workers,” Allen said.

However, there is also a concern involving those machines.

The machines will require new data packs in order to be programmed to count only the governor ballots, and those data packs are not ready as of yet.

“From there, we’ll have to wait on our software upgrades to get here from the company we use out of Birmingham,” Allen said.

However, the data packs could be in Troy early next week.

“I don’t know for sure, but every indication I’ve been given is that those data packs will be here Monday,” Allen said.

Allen said the recount will likely take place in the Pike County courtroom, and that representatives for the respective parties and candidates would be invited.

The delay in starting the recount will also tighten the window for the recount to be completed, as all probate judges must be notified of which candidates have qualified for the July 13 runoff by June 16 at 5 p.m.

“You always want more time, but we’ll do what we have to do to get everything in on time,” Allen said.