The official canvass of Salt Lake County election ballots was delayed from Monday until Tuesday, but it looks like there will be no recount for the race between Democrat Randy Horiuchi and Republican Commissioner M. Tom Shimizu.
However, there is talk of a recount in the Granite School District's 2-mill property tax levy. The levy won by a margin of only 142 votes. Official canvassers were to count an additional 130 absentee ballots Tuesday, which could not change the election.However, Merrilea Jones, county elections director, said she had received a call from a citizen who said he will ask for a recount on the levy election. District taxpayers were asked to support the additional taxes to help reduce class sizes in district schools.
Howard Stephenson, president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, said his group does not have standing in the district to seek a recount, but he supported a new tally on "such a close vote."
Jones said miscommunication among the county elected officials that make up the Board of Canvassers left the county with only two officials on hand instead of the three needed to officially canvass the votes Monday.
So the canvass was moved to Tuesday, which had been some county officials' preference anyway because of the Veterans Day holiday Monday.
But it doesn't look like the canvass will show a close enough margin in the Shimizu/Horiuchi race to justify a recount, she said.
Horiuchi edged out Shimizu by 990 votes, according to the final but unofficial returns tallied election night. To request a recount, Shimizu would need to have trailed by 702 votes, equal to the number of voting districts, or less.
"There's just not a small enough margin to justify a recount," Jones said. "According to the Utah election code, there is no provision if there is a larger than the allowable margin unless (Shimizu) were to contest the results or find some grounds" for a recount that would indicate an irregularity occurred in the election.
Shimizu said Friday he didn't expect a recount would change the outcome of the election but said he had decided to ask for a second count because of a flood of requests from supporters. As of Tuesday morning, Shimizu had not formally submitted a recount request, Jones said.