Judge Coy sets recount process, must be done by December 20th

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Switzerland County moved a step closer to a recount in the race for Switzerland County auditor yesterday (Wednesday) when Switzerland County Judge Greg Coy held a meeting with all of the involved parties in his court.

“I set a hearing up for Wednesday just to get everyone in the same room,” Judge Coy said. “It’s not an official hearing as much as it is a primer so we can discuss how we can get it set up and get it done. I didn’t want to just meet with people in the office, I thought it would be a better idea to meet in the courtroom, that way it’s all recorded.”

Judge Coy said that there has to be a three-person recount commission, which he will appoint after gaining insight from each political party as to who each would like to have on that commission. The third member of the commission has to be someone who has knowledge of the voting system that the county uses, so the judge figures that the person will come from that software company.

“I have to do an order that names the people and orders the recount and tells the clerk to impound the materials and tells them what procedures to follow to hold the recount,” the judge said. “So we needed to have a discussion as to who was going to be on it and getting it set up and ready to go.”

The judge said that election law says that the recount must be completed and certified no later than December 20th.

Getting the recount started will most likely depend on the company representative being available to come to the county, but the judge would like to see the recount finished and the matter settled well before the December 20th deadline.

“Recounts are subject to the Open Door Law,” Judge Coy said. “So we have to determine where they are going to do the recount and publicly post that within the proper time period. Citizens will be able to come in and watch the recount as it proceeds, but they will not be allowed to participate in it, just watch.”

The judge said that he assumes that the best place to hold the recount will be in the basement meeting room of the courthouse.

Judge Coy said that the result of the recount will be the final say, because state election law says that there is a deadline to file a recount petition, and that date has come and gone.

Since the Republican party did not also file a recount request, that means that should the pending recount change the result of the election, then that will stand.

In the November 2nd General Election, Republican challenger Gayle Rayles defeated Democrat incumbent Rachel Schuler by just seven votes: 1,530 to 1,523.

“Theoretically, because the deadline has passed, whatever the result of this recount is, that’s what the official result of the election will be,” Judge Coy said.