Sigee files petition for recount

There was a 5 p.m. deadline for Democrat Thomas Sigee to file for a recount in the Jefferson County Tax Assessor Collector race. Sigee did that at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. Jefferson County Judge, Jeff Branick now has 48 hours to decide whether to grant a recount in that race.

Sigee told 12 News HD, "In a race where you have 87,000 people voted, and the vote difference is 16 votes. It wasn't a hard decision for me at all."

This was decision made after incumbent Shane Howard was declared the official winner earlier in the week once the Jefferson County Commissioners canvassed the votes. After provisional votes were counted, the results showed Howard to be the winner by only 16 votes. Sigee and some supporters put up the $11,000 dollars deposit he needed to pay for the recount.

"It was a good decision because it is an investment in not only me, but my community, my state and my country. It's just that simple," said Sigee.

But the process isn't that simple.  County Clerk Carolyn Guidry says there are strict rules that must be followed.

"For electronic recount all the flashcards are reread... for the paper ballot portion of it, those have to be hand counted in order to hand count the ballots we have approximately 3800 paper ballots. I would imagine it would take at least 10 teams four people each," said Guidry.

As long as all the paper work is in order and the deposit has been made, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick tells 12 News HD he must grant the recount.  He may however, ask for amendments to the filing if he feels he needs more information from Sigee. When Judge Branick grants the recount.

Guidry told 12 News there are seven days to complete the recount.  Those are days that may seem an eternity because all the candidates can do now is wait.

The $11,000 deposit Sigee put down pays for the cost of the recount which includes paying the 10 counting teams and the cost of using the counting station. If the cost comes in lower than $11,000, then Sigee would get the difference back.

Guidry says that the entire time she has been at her post, there have been no recounts that have changed the outcome of an election.


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