Waiting on the final vote tally

Election officials in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, are expected to begin verifying and tallying today the 541 provisional ballots cast in Tuesday’s spaceport tax referendum. Some of the ballots were thrown out yesterday, although officials didn’t disclose to the Las Cruces Sun-News how many were disqualified, and why. The review of the remaining provisional ballots is expected to be completed by Friday. Both sides said they were optimistic that the final tally would go their way, but there would have to be a significant shift in the provisional ballots to negate the 204-vote lead for the tax: the 541 ballots would have to be against the tax by just over a two-to-one margin to give “no” a lead, a ratio that is greater now that some of the provisional ballots have been thrown out.

But what about a recount? Both sides have given some thought to a vote challenge depending on the outcome, but will wait until after the provisional ballots are counted before making a decision. One factor that could work against tax opponents is that anyone requesting a recount must pay the costs of the recount—over $5,000—and spaceport opponents ran their campaign on a shoestring budget that was only a small fraction of that amount.

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