Republican runoff for SC-5 too close to call, recount imminent

Republican runoff for SC-5 too close to call, recount imminent

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/AP) - The narrow race between the two Republican candidates for the SC-5 seat is so close, that it's forced a recount in for the election.

The Associated Press confirmed that a runoff will happen between former lawmaker Ralph Norman and state legislator Tommy Pope. The difference in votes on Tuesday night was less than 1 percent, meaning a recount is automatic.

Ralph Normal defeated Tommy Pope by exactly 203 votes.

The winner will face Democratic nominee Archie Parnell in the special election on June 20.

The race is to fill the seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney who became White House budget director.

Norman's communications director R.J. Norman issued a statement saying that their next opponent is Parnell.

"Essentially, this election is over. We are moving on to the June 20 special election and we aren't wasting any time and we are hitting the ground running," May said. "Our opponent, as of a few hours ago is Archie Parnell. Democrats would like nothing more than to have us waste five days waiting on a recount. Archie Parnell is our opponent now."

Parnell also issued a statement, saying:

The power elites in Washington intent on dividing the American people and the Republican Party got exactly what they wanted tonight. But now the people of the 5th Congressional District have a clear choice. Do we want a leader who fights for better wages, affordable healthcare and equal justice for all, or a career politician who ignores dangerous threats to our national security and thinks pregnancy should be a pre-existing condition?

What happens in a recount? Here's what happens, via the South Carolina State Election Commission:

  • County boards meet on Thursday to hold provisional ballot hearings and certify results.
  • The SEC meets on Friday at 10 a.m. to certify results and order any necessary recounts.  We are tentatively planning for the board to order the recount to begin at 10:30 a.m.
  • Counties will be on standby and begin the recount at the time ordered.  The process is to re-scan all paper ballots and re-read all electronic media from the polling places.  Essentially, they will re-do what they did today.
  • There will be an election results page accessible through to view recount results as they come into the SEC.
  • The SEC is tentatively planning to meet at 2:00 p.m. on Friday to certify the results of the recount.

Section 7-17-280 mandates a recount when:

Whenever the difference between the number of votes received by a candidate who has been declared nominated for an office in a primary election or who has been declared elected to an office in a general election and the number of votes received by any other candidate or candidate not declared so nominated or elected or whenever the difference between the number of votes received by a candidate who received the least number of votes to qualify for a runoff election and a candidate or candidates who did not so qualify shall be not more than one percent of the total votes which were cast for such office therein, the committee or board charged by law with canvassing such votes shall order a recount of such votes to be made forthwith unless such other candidate or candidates shall waive a recount in writing.

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