A Survey and Analysis of Statewide Election Recounts, 2000-2019

November 4, 2020

The ability to handle a recount of votes to ensure fair, accurate and genuinely democratic outcomes is widely recognized as a critical component of election administration. Trust in elections requires trust in the recount process and ongoing learning about how best to conduct recounts and determine what victory margins and post-elections audit results should trigger a recount.

This report examines 20 years of statewide election recounts and finds that recounts which change the outcome of an election are exceedingly rare and require very narrow margins of victory. The report includes FairVote’s recommendations for state recount laws and post-election audit.