Recount for judge’s race set for Saturday
A recount is scheduled for the County Court Judge Group 4 contest between Archie Hayward and Eric P. Feichthaler Saturday at 10 am.
The machine recount will help to settle what was one of the closest local elections since 2004, said Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington.
She said that recounts are not unusual.
“We’ve had numerous recounts. In 2004 it was the hospital board race and a fire control district race, but this is the first time since we started using the optical scan ballots,” she said.
Following Tuesday’s election, officials announced that Feichthaler had lost the race to the seat’s incumbent, Judge Archie Hayward Jr.
Of the 68,727 people who voted in the race, 50.17 percent – 34,477 votes – supported Hayward. Feichthaler claimed 49.83 percent of the total votes, or 34,250.
The Lee County Elections office counted provisional ballots on Friday, but by law a recount is required.
Harrington said a victory by half of a point requires a machine recount, and victory by a quarter of a percentage point or less requires a recount by hand.
Two separate recounts will take place at once, Harrington said, one counting the absentee ballots, the other counting the machine ballots cast on election day.
“To save time, we’re going to do them simultaneously,” she said.
It’s unknown when the recount will be completed, but Harrington said the results are required to be delivered to Tallahassee by 3 p.m. Sunday.
Hayward said he appreciated everyone’s support in the election and through this recount process.
“I’m very happy and pleased that things, so far, have come out in my favor,” Hayward said.
Feichthaler said he was happy that he garnered 40 more votes from the provisional ballots, and was, of course, looking forward to the recount.
“We’re excited about tomorrow,” he said, adding, “By tomorrow we’ll know what the next step will be. Win or lose, we’re happy to part of a clean and honest campaign.”