Recount Procedures in 10 Battleground States, New Brennan Center Report

November 2, 2012

With the polls deadlocked a few days before the election, a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice details recount procedures in 10 battleground states. These laws, which vary widely from state to state, could determine the winner of the presidential race.

Among the findings:

  1. In Florida, a recount must be completed within 12 days, but in Ohio it could take more than a month, for example.
  2. Automatic recounts are triggered in Ohio if the margin of victory is less than 0.25 percent, and in Colorado, Florida, and Pennsylvania if it’s less than 0.5 percent.
  3. In most states, initial recounts are conducted by machine.
  4. In Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, many citizens will vote on machines without paper records, meaning there will be no independent voter-verified paper record to check against the software tally of votes.

The report also examines the role of provisional and absentee ballots in a recount.

For more information, please contact:

Jeanine Plant-Chirlin
646-265-7721 (cell)
646-292-8322 (office)


Erik Opsal
763-234-5907 (cell)
646-292-8356 (office)