Statement from the Yarbro for State Senate Campaign, Aug. 12, 2010:
Jeff Yarbro announced today that he will file a formal request for a recount of the votes in the Senate District 21 Democratic Primary and ask that the recount be handled on an expedited basis.
“It is important to the voters and the candidates to know the final outcome of this election sooner rather than later,” Yarbro said. “It’s time for candidates to show that these close elections can be resolved quickly without weeks of rancor, and I hope Senator Henry will join me in asking for expedited treatment of the recount.”
Tennessee law does not provide for an automatic recount of close elections. The Davidson County Election Commission is prohibited from recounting the ballots unless the State Executive Committee of the Tennessee Democratic Party sitting in its capacity as the State Primary Board orders a recount. Yarbro will file a formal request with the Democratic State Executive Committee seeking an expedited recount and further request that the Executive Committee meet quickly to consider the request. Under the normal schedule, the Election Commission must certify votes by August 23 and Yarbro would have five days to file his request for a recount. Under that schedule, the meeting of the Democratic Executive Committee might be delayed until early September and the recount would occur even later in September.
“Nothing in the statute prevents the Election Commission from certifying the election prior to August 23 if they are capable of completing their work earlier with due care,” said Kathryn Sasser, Yarbro Campaign counsel. “Without opposition from Sen. Henry, the Executive Committee should be able to make the decision quickly and we would hope that the Election Commission would be able to commence the recount the next day. We are communicating with officials at the Election Commission and the Executive Committee to discuss this process to ensure that the recount is conducted with appropriate care and concluded as soon as possible.”
“There’s no reason why this election should drag out for six weeks or longer,” Yarbro said. “I will ask for a recount to be done as quickly as possible. Senator Henry’s campaign representatives have indicated they would not oppose a recount and I hope he will agree with me that the recount should be done right away.
“If Senator Henry’s lead holds up following the recount, I will be the first to shake his hand and pledge my support. But both candidates need to know the final result and make plans accordingly, and the voters need to know that the final result is accurate.”