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Candidate who lost election by slimmest of margins says, ‘a recount is coming’

East Idaho Elects

POCATELLO — In eastern Idaho’s tightest primary race, a victor was decided between Bannock County’s two Republican assessor candidates by just three votes.

Greg Cates, who finished the night with 4,579 votes — behind Anita Hymas’ 4,582 — confirmed that he does plan to file for a recount.

Cates was not available for comment, but did send a text message to EastIdahoNews.com that read in part “a recount is coming.”

According to Bannock County Elections Administrator Julie Hancock, Cates will not be able to request a recount until the results are canvassed by the Bannock County Commissioners. Once the totals are confirmed by the commission, he will then have 20 days to make his request.

“There’s no automatic recount,” Hancock explained. “So (Cates) is going to have to ask for it, formally, in writing.”

Vote canvassing will go to the commission Tuesday, she added, officially starting Cates’ 20-day clock.

If and when Cates does file his request for a recount, the offices of the Idaho Attorney General and Secretary of State will “confiscate” all the ballots, Hancock said. Those ballots will be transported to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office and held in evidence.

“Then, when we decide which date to do the recount on, the sheriff’s office will bring them all back,” Hancock concluded.

When the recount date is established, the Bannock County Elections Office will select as yet undetermined voting precincts — combining for around 500 votes, Hancock said.

The votes from those precincts will then be hand-counted, and if the hand-count can confirm the accuracy of the machine-counted votes, the machines will be used to count all remaining ballots. If the hand count does not match the machine count, all votes will then be subject to a hand count.

EastIdahoNews.com requested a comment from Hymas but did not receive a response.

Any potential recount date will not be set until a request is filed by Cates.

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