By Alaa Abdeldaiem
The recount of Indiana State Senate District 36 is now underway for the two Democratic candidates in the race.
The tallying began Monday after the Indiana State Recount Commission approved the recount for Jesse Kharbanda and Sean Gorman last month. Under Indiana law, a recount can take place if the difference is less than one percent of the total votes.
Kharbanda submitted the petition after initial counts declared Gorman the winner by only 37 out of 9,501 votes, accounting for a .4 percent difference.
“This is first and foremost about making sure that it’s a fair and accurate and precise election,” Kharbanda said. “We want to make sure every vote counts. That’s the fundamental foundation of democracy.”
The process involves retotaling all ballots precinct by precinct, including both votes submitted on election day and absentee ballots. District 36 includes parts of Marion and Johnson counties.
Gorman said the process has its advantages and disadvantages heading into the general election.
“The recount certainly in a way freezes up fundraising ability or opportunities people reaching out their candidate,” Gorman said. “Then again, there is some attention with the recount, and all publicity is good publicity, so there may be a balance.”
Despite Kharbanda’s request for a recount, Gorman does not anticipate a change in the primary election’s results.
“Right now, I feel like we’re in pretty good shape and think that we’ll find that the results are similar to those we saw on election day,” Gorman said. “My hope is that the state board of accounts finds that the results they figure out from this recount are consistent and that I am still the nominee for State Senate District 36 in the general election.”
Kharbanda said he’s not sure if he’ll be declared the winner, but wanted to be certain every vote was counted accurately.
“We’ve continued to campaign and continued to meet with voters to make it as seamless as possible in the event that we will prevail in this recount,” said Kharbanda said.
The tallying will continue on days and times to be announced. The commission will have until mid-September to complete the recount and have ballots finalized for the November election.