FACT CHECK: IS IT RARE FOR A RECOUNT TO OVERTURN A STATEWIDE ELECTION?

checkyourfact.com | 11/17/2018 | Staff
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Politico reporter Marc Caputo claimed on MSNBC that recounts rarely reverse the outcome of an election.

“If you look at all of the other recounts that we’ve had, both in Florida – we haven’t had a statewide one in, well, in quite some time – or around the nation, it’s very rare that recounts overturn an election, and it’s even rarer that they overturn elections where the margins is in the thousands and thousands of votes,” he said Nov. 12.

Elections - Recounts - Outcome - Elections - Victory

From 2000 to 2015, 27 statewide general elections were followed by recounts, and only three overturned the outcome. Those three elections had initial victory margins under 500 votes.

Fact Check:

Caputo - Claim - Light - Gov - Rick

Caputo made the claim in light of outgoing Gov. Rick Scott’s Senate race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, as well as the Florida gubernatorial election between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis.

Scott appeared to win on election night, but days later, his 56,000-vote lead narrowed to fewer than 13,000 votes. Gillum conceded to DeSantis, but later retracted his concession as DeSantis’ lead fell from 84,000 votes to roughly 33,000.

Machine - Recounts - Races - Deadline - Thursday

Machine recounts were ordered for both races with a deadline of Thursday. The recount only shifted the governor’s race by one vote, and Gillum conceded once again on Saturday. The Senate race is now undergoing a manual recount that must be completed by 12 p.m. Sunday.

No statewide election between 1980 and 2000 had its outcome reversed by a recount. Of the 4,687 statewide general elections from 2000 to 2015, just 27 were followed by recounts, and only three had their outcomes reversed, according to FairVote, a nonprofit organization which advocates for electoral reform. The Daily Caller confirmed with FairVote that no statewide election has had its outcome reversed since 2015.

None - Election - Reversals - Races - Margin

None of the three election reversals concerned races where the initial margin of victory was...
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