The Republican nomination for the Fifth Congressional District race will not be officially decided until Friday at the earliest.
Since the margin between former State Rep. Ralph Norman and State Rep. Tommy Pope on Tuesday night was less than one percent, state law requires an automatic recount.
South Carolina Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said the recount process starts at the county level. “The counties basically do everything they did on Election Day,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “So they’ll rescan all of the paper ballots and they’ll reread all of the electronic media that came in from the voting machines at the polling places.”
Whitmire said that the state election board will meet Friday to confirm the result. “The board will plan to meet at 2 pm on Friday to certify the results of that recount with the caveat that as long as the counties are done and everything is in order,” he said.
Pope and Norman are vying to face the Democratic nominee Archie Parnell on June 20. The Fifth District House seat was vacated when Mick Mulvaney became director of the White House Office of Management and Budget in February.
Either Republican is expected to have a large advantage over Parnell in the conservative-leaning district. More than 39,000 people cast their ballots on the GOP side during the May 2 primary, while fewer than 19,000 voted in the Democratic race. South Carolina does not require voters to register by party, however.