A manual recount of the ballots cast in the Republican Party Primary Election in the Precinct 3 Constable race has been set for Tuesday, Republican Party Chair Fernando Garcia confirmed Thursday.
In the election for Precinct 3 Constable, which was held Tuesday, March 3, the incumbent, Steve Berg, won by 18 votes over his challenger, Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael Wancho. Berg had an unofficial total of 768 votes to Wancho’s unofficial total of 750 votes.
To seek a recount of the votes, Wancho had to file a petition requesting the recount, Garcia said Thursday.
“I have to approve the petition and order the recount. The recount then has to be scheduled within seven days of the petition being approved,” Garcia said.
The petition is a form from the Texas Secretary of State and includes the candidate’s name and the election and office for which the recount is sought.
The petition also includes the grounds on which the recount is being requested.
In his petition, Wancho indicated his grounds were “the difference between number of votes received by petitioner (Wancho) and number of votes received by person who was elected or is entitled to a place on the runoff election ballot is less than 10% of the number of votes received by the person who was elected or entitled to a place on the runoff ballot.”
Wancho asked the regular paper ballots, cast during early voting and on Election Day, be recounted for county voting precincts 30, 31, 32 and 33.
“Mr. Wancho presented the petition to me on Monday,” Garcia said.
“I have two days to review the petition and process it, and after I approve it, I have seven days to call the recount,” he added.
Garcia said he approved the petition and notified Wancho, Berg, the election judge and clerk.
Garcia said will serve as the election supervisor/coordinator and appointed Carole Cooper as the election judge.
“She then appointed a three-person counting team, which will include one caller and two persons who will tally,” Garcia said.
The recount will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the records room of the county clerk’s office in the Val Verde County Courthouse.
Garcia said Wancho and Berg will each be allowed two representatives who will be permitted to stay in the room during the recount. The candidates themselves may not be present, Garcia said.
Garcia added Wancho has requested a manual recount of the ballots cast and has provided a $300 deposit.
“If the recount changes the outcome of the election, meaning Mr. Wancho is declared the winner, he will get his money back. If it turns out that Mr. Wancho is still the loser of the election, he has to pay all of the expenses related to the election,” Garcia said.
He added the total cost of the recount won’t be known until after it is conducted.