Davidson County election officials are expected to hand-count more than 200 absentee ballots this afternoon to determine whether Nashville state Sen. Douglas Henry actually beat out his campaign challenger, Jeff Yarbro, in the Aug. 5 primary election.
Democratic Executive Committee members voted overwhelmingly Monday evening to allow the recount after Yarbro, who trails Henry by 11 votes, requested the totals be tallied again.
“This is not a matter of who you support and who you don’t support,” said Will Cheek, a 40-year member of the committee who said he has traditionally supported Henry. “It’s a matter of fairness.”
On a voice vote — with many members attending via teleconference and about a dozen from the party’s Nashville headquarters — the 66-member committee decided overwhelmingly in favor of the recount. Only about three people voted against the recount, the exact number difficult to make out over the telephone speaker.
Forrester said he expects the recount to begin Tuesday afternoon and take no more than half a day.
He said he did not know who, the county or the Democratic Party, will pick up the tab for the cost of recounting the ballots. He said state and county election coordinators had “indicated that the expense would be modest.”
“They were uncertain, because this was new territory, as to who would be responsible for that expense,” said Forrester. “Although (Davidson County Election Administrator Ray) Barrett indicated that these are full time employees and this would be done during working hours and there might not be any cost.”
He added that Yarbro had agreed to pay for the recount should it become necessary.