Ticket-splitters poised to shake up election tallies in Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire and elsewhere
It may be time for the federal government to take a more active role in the process of counting ballots in the coming weeks, with Election Day just around the corner.
One of many potential avenues President Barack Obama has considered is a “clean” hand recount, in which an observer is allowed to check the results of all congressional races in the same state. Obama’s 2012 campaign pushed the idea during the presidential election.
“The secretary of state of a state ought to certify the results of the election, and then if there is reason to believe that the votes were not counted fairly or properly, let the voters have their say on whether we go forward or not and get it right,” Obama said in a November press conference.
But since then, the White House has been less definitive. It’s considered that any new process would complicate the already tight race between incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s re-election and the Democratic challenger, Scott Wagner.
“The idea of the clean hand recount would be a good idea. It would be a good idea, we’re not opposed to that,” the Obama administration said in a November press conference.
The same day, the White House told reporters that no decision had been made on how to get the new system up and running.
But some advocates say the federal government should be involved in the process of counting, given the sheer number of federal elections involved.
“We’ve got so many elections right now, that even if we have a clean hand recount process, I think it’s going to be difficult to ensure that every race is treated equally, because we have so many,” said Bill Spindle, a former Republican member of the Pennsylvania state legislature who is now vice president of the National Rifle Association.
Spindle, who has been involved in elections going back to the founding of the organization, says he’s seen many election-day problems in his decades in politics, and he sees an opportunity to create a new system that can ensure that every election is treated equally.
“This is one of those cases where it’s the right thing to do, and the right thing to do at the current time,” Spindle said.
A federal law passed in 1864 allows the federal government to step in in order to correct a miscount of electoral votes