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If the recent congressional recount is being done by volunteers, why does it cost taxpayers $50,000?

Patrick Gannon

Election poll worker Jenna Dahlgren organizes ballots as the recount of the 7th Congressional District race continues at the Board of Elections Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Photo by Mike Spencer.

Many of the 12 county boards of elections in the 7th Congressional District had to bring in part-time workers, not volunteers, to help with the recounts, which involved feeding tens of thousands of paper ballots back through machines.

In Sampson County, for example, Elections Director Donna Marshburn reported that the recount cost about $2,500.

That county brought in 10 extra workers to feed ballots into machines and also used one full-time and one part-time staff person. That cost about $2,000 for workers’ pay and $500 for their travel and lunch, Marshburn said. That county’s recount took about 8 hours, she said.

Robeson County also hired part-time workers, as well as using full-time staff. It estimated its recount cost at about $2,400.

Other counties in the 12-county district reported similar costs. The estimated total cost of the recount is roughly $50,000, but it could be a little more or less than that once all expenses are added up.

In the 7th Congressional District race, Republican David Rouzer requested a recount after initial results from the Nov. 6 election gave incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre a slim margin of victory. The recount confirmed the outcome.


What is a ‘canvass’ in regards to making an election official? How does it differ from a recount?

Where are the lines between U.S. House Districts 3 and 7?


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