Recounts haven’t changed the results of extremely close races in the Missouri legislature, but, according to the Secretary of State’s office , do say something about our election system.
One Senate race and two House races decided by a margin of less than one percent have undergone recounts. Republican Jim Lembke might have lost six votes in the recount, but still won his senate race against Democrat Joan Barry by 70 votes.
Lembke garnered 44,216; Barry 44,146.
Nearly as close was Democrat Kenny Biermann’s upset of Republican incumbent Vicki Schneider in a St. Louis area representative race. The certified results give 10,950 votes to Biermann and 10,877 to Schneider, a 73-vote margin; one vote closer than prior to the recount.
Republican Denny Hoskins won by a more comfortable 122 votes in his victory over Democrat Jim Jackson in a representative race in West-Central Missouri. Hoskins won 7,008 votes. Jackson received 6,886 votes.
Secretary of State spokesman Laura Egerdal says three recounts to determine races for the General Assembly demonstrate a closely divided electorate in Missouri. She notes the presidential race in Missouri was the closest since 1908. Republican John McCain took Missouri, barely. McCain received 1,445,814 votes to Democrat Barack Obama’s 1,441,911; a margin of 49.4% to 49.3%.
The Missouri vote was the closest of any in the country. Missouri doesn’t provide automatic recounts. The losing candidate can request a recount when the margin of victory falls within one percent. Obama could have requested a recount, but he had already secured enough electoral votes to win the presidency and his campaign declined the opportunity.