The Democratic race for Commonwealth Court could be headed for a recount. The decision on whether or not to re-tally votes will be made next week, when counties submit official returns to the Department of State.
603,801 Democratic voters supported either Katheryn Boockvar or Barbara Ernsberger in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary. Speaking Wednesday afternoon, Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele explained just how slim Boockvar’s unofficial 50.3 to 49.8 percent lead is. “Right now, as of about an hour ago, the difference between the two candidates was 2,794 votes, which is within the half of the one percent,” she said.
If the difference between the two candidates stays less than a half a percentage point once counties certify the results next week, Aichele will announce an automatic recount, unless the trailing candidate waives her right for another tally.
The effort would be expensive, with an estimated cost of more than $500,000. “I have been through a recount in Chester County, as the county commissioner,” explained Aichele. “And we went over in many cases, provisional ballots ballot by ballot. So it’s labor-intensive.” DOS assumes each ballot box would cost about $50 to count. With more than 9,000 precincts throughout Pennsylvania, the cost would add up quickly.
Last year’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor primary and the 2009 Superior Court election both fell within the half-percent margin, but both times, challengers conceded and waived their right to a recount.