By Adrianna Pitrelli
Some Indiana candidates will have to wait a bit longer to learn whether they’ll be on the ballot for this November’s general election.
The Indiana State Recount Commission held a hearing Thursday morning to discuss recount petitions that were filed after the Indiana primary on May 3.
Under Indiana law, a recount can take place if the difference is less than one percent of the total votes.
Ron Drake leads David Orenlitcher by some 68 votes of almost 60,000 total votes in the 8th Congressional District Democratic Party race. Because of that slim margin, Orentilcher filed for a recount against opponent Ron Drake.
Drake testified at the hearing and said there should be no issues with the current election results. He petitioned to dismiss the recount for the 8th Congressional District.
But Orentlicher thinks differently. Attorney William Groth, who represented Orentlicher, said mistakes happen and because of this, legislature has given candidates the right to a recount.
“This is in recognition in the inevitability of human error in any complex undertaking and particularly in the context of a public election,” said Groth.
Drake, however, argued that after the primary Orentlicher had told multiple members of the media that despite a close race, there weren’t any issues with the voting process.
“Mr. Orentlicher acknowledged that he had gone through precinct by precinct and found no problems,” said Drake. “And yet now, he requests a recount in all of the precincts.”
The recount commission rejected Drake’s motion to dismiss Orentlicher’s petition, ruling a recount is allowed based on how close the results are, and not comments made by a candidate to the media.
Until the recount is completed, neither candidate can declare themselves a winner. That could slow or stop the campaign in the Democratic race, which could work in favor of incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Larry Buschon.
A recount also will happen in the Democratic race for the state Senate seat in district 36. Sean Gorman has a slight lead over Jesse Kharbanda, with 37 votes.
The commission must have ballots for the November election finalized by mid-September. Secretary of State Connie Lawson said the commission will work diligently to get the recounts done as quickly as possible, but there are a lot of steps to the process.