Recount? Really?

By John Kanelis /

Is this the new modus operandi for candidates who lose contests for public office?

They get fewer votes than the winner and then yap and yammer about alleged “irregularities” in the counting of the ballots. So it is happening now in the just completed race for mayor of Amarillo, Texas.

Mayor Ginger Nelson was re-elected with 54 percent of the vote. Her closest challenger was someone named Claudette Smith (about whom I know nothing), who finished with 29 percent of the total vote. Let’s see, that’s a 25-percentage point difference between first and second.

And yet, Smith wants a recount. She said this, according to the Amarillo Globe-News: “Since Election Day, I have been inundated with inquiries regarding the outcome and integrity of the election. At the request of a very large number of citizens, I filed a petition for a recount,” Smith said in a statement given to the Globe-News on Tuesday after the Globe-News’ print deadline. “Another candidate on the ballot (in a different race) has requested a recount as well. Many citizens have expressed that the incumbent in my race barely missed a runoff by 4%, which equates to around 800 votes. Additionally, there are a number of questionable incidents that occurred during the election that are being looked at. As a candidate, I pay for the cost of the recount. It does not cost the taxpayers anything. I have agreed to pay these costs. If it was a fair and honest election, I don’t see any reason anyone should object to a recount. It’s what the people want and so that’s what I’ve decided to do.”

Update: Smith comments on recount request submitted for Amarillo mayor race (

Ah, ha! There it is! She says Nelson fell just 800 votes of being forced into a runoff. Therefore, Smith said, she needs to recount the tally. Good grief.

The only redeeming quality of this farce is that Smith is going to foot the bill for a recount.

Still, I believe it will prove to be a monumental waste of time.  Oh, and Smith had better not claim any sort of “election theft.”

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