Machines Say Dem Won, Hand Count Says GOP

Bing Wen /
Bing Wen /

With the 2022 midterms officially over, it’s now time to go over how the voting process went this go-round and what, if anything, needs to be changed before the next election cycle. This also means that votes for the recent midterms are being recounted both by machine and by hand in some cases to ensure that the correct winner was named, as several of the races were quite close.

And in a few of those instances, the recount has changed the election results completely.

Take a recently recounted race in Iowa for a state House seat, for example.

As WQDA-TV reported on election night, Republican candidate Luana Stoltenberg beat out Democrat Craig Cooper by a mere 29 votes.

But given the extremely tight results and the penchant for voting machines to experience errors, officials wisely thought a recount was in order.

A machine recount was conducted on November 15 – or at least one was attempted. However, midway through the process, the count was stopped because the tabulator machine being used kept jamming. On November 17, a hand recount was done. And then, on the 18th, another machine recount. The latest put Cooper and not Stoltenberg in the lead, if only by six votes.

However, officials decided one more recount, just to be sure, couldn’t hurt. And so this past week, another by-hand recount occurred. And this time, Stoltenberg came out on top again, this time by only 11 votes.

In Idaho, a similar instance occurred when Democrat Karma Metzler Fitzgerald supposedly beat out GOP Jack Nelson for a state House seat by 383 votes. However, it was realized that there was a voting tabulator glitch. Once the glitch was fixed, a machine recount was done, and Nelson showed to be on top by 84 votes.

In New Hampshire, Democrat Maxine Mosely won a state House seat by a mere one vote after that race was recounted. Previously, Mosely had been behind Republican Larry Gagne by 23 votes.

Makes you wonder what a recount, either by machine or hand, could do for a couple of other close races across the country, doesn’t it? Say one Arizona gubernatorial race, for instance?