A flurry of calls from supporters has convinced Salt Lake County Commissioner M. Tom Shimizu to ask for a recount in his narrow defeat Tuesday by former state Democratic Party Chairman Randy Horiuchi.
The final, unofficial vote tally showed Horiuchi with 90,071 votes and Shimizu trailing less than one percent behind with 89,081 votes, a difference of 990 votes."Some of the supporters felt that it was so close - I feel I owe it to them" to ask for the recount, Shimizu said Friday. "I don't feel it will change the results much."
"For three days that's all I've done is take calls from people who have demanded that he ask for a recount," said Shimizu's secretary.
Merrilea Jones, county elections director, said the request to recount the vote cannot be made until after the official vote canvas Monday.
Some races can be recounted at county expense, but only if the vote margin between the two candidates is less than the number of voting districts involved. With 702 districts voting in the commission race, the 990-vote spread between Shimizu and Horiuchi means Shimizu would have to pay for the second count.
Jones said she hasn't had a request for such a recount before and doesn't know how much it would cost - perhaps $5 per district, which would cost Shimizu about $3,500.
Shimizu also has to demonstrate there is evidence of an election irregularity before the County Clerk's office will do a second count, Jones said.