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West Palm Beach mayoral race may go to a recount

6 p.m. Chuck on WPB mayoral election
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The City of West Palm Beach and elections workers will meet about possibly conducting a partial recount of Tuesday’s race for mayor.

Late Wednesday, the city’s Canvassing Board announced it will convene Friday morning to meet about a possible machine recount of overvotes and undervotes in the mayor’s contest.

City commissioner Keith James received just more than half the vote for mayor, meaning he likely avoids a runoff with second-place finisher Paula Ryan, also a city commissioner.

James polled 50.38 percent to Ryan’s 28.84. Former state representative and county commissioner Priscilla Taylor came in third with 20.78 percent.

But because James’ tally came in less than a half percent above the 50 percent mark, state law mandates a machine recount of over and undervotes in the race.

If after that recount, the margin above 50 percent would narrow to below .25 percent, then there would be a hand recount of the ballots.

Should James’ vote total then fall below 50 percent, the city would hold a runoff contest between James and Ryan.

Both candidates issued statements late Wednesday, indicating their desires to see every vote counted.

James sent this statement to CBS12 News:

I want every vote in the West Palm Beach Mayor’s election to count. I fully support the recount process that is being initiated. The election results show we received over half the votes, and that I had twice as many votes as my two opponents. I do not expect the outcome of this election to change as a result of the recount. We are prepared for the run-off election, if needed. Meanwhile, until the recount results are verified, I will continue working on my transition plan as mayor-elect based on the current vote tally.

“We are looking forward to the recount to insure that every voter’s voice is heard," said Chase Scott, spokesman for candidate Paula Ryan.

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