TERRE HAUTE —
With a close election result, Republican Lonnie Moody II had considered a recount in the four-way primary election race for Vigo County Council, but said Wednesday a challenge would cost too much.
Moody said he planned to seek a recount “for the simple fact you never know and mistakes can happen,” Moody said Wednesday. “As close as the race was, it doesn’t hurt to have a recount just to make sure.”
However, that was before he learned a challenging candidate under Indiana law is responsible for the cost of a recount.
Vigo County Clerk Patricia Mansard said the cost of a recount is based on a percentage of the vote difference. If the percentage is 1 percent or less, the cost is $10 per precinct. That would be $870 for 87 precincts in Vigo County, plus a $137 filing fee before a county circuit court.
However, with a 44-vote margin between third and fourth place in the race, Mansard estimated the vote percentage difference is 1.543 percent, which makes it greater than 1 percent. The cost per precinct more than 1 percent is $100 per precinct, or $8,700 plus a $137 filing fee.
Mansard said the law “wants to discourage frivolous recounts. This is all supposition right now as we have no recount request yet, nothing has been legally done yet,” Mansard said.
Moody has until noon May 22 to file for a recount, but he said Wednesday a recount is out of the picture.
“I didn’t know there would be fees. I don’t have those funds. There is no way I can touch something like that,” Moody said of the recount costs. “I am not doing that.”
Republican voters were to select three of four candidates seeking at-large seats for the county council. Third place was taken by Steve Ellis with 2,851 votes, with Moody coming in fourth at 2,807 votes.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.