Recount possible in Senate race
Sen. Roger Bedford has been a staple in the Alabama political scene for 28 years, but unless the district’s provisional ballots tell a different story, there will be a new face representing the area.
In last Tuesday’s general election, political newcomer Dr. Larry Stutts reportedly brought in 17,605 votes, which was 60 more votes than Bedford’s 17,545.
Bedford had no problem netting more votes than Stutts in his home county of Franklin where he brought in 4,810 votes to Stutts’ 2,895 votes. Bedford was also able to emerge victorious in Lauderdale and Lawrence counties.
However, Stutts was the obvious winner in his home county of Colbert and also in Marion County.
The close nature of the race has raised some questions as to whether or not a recount will be held, and Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore said that will depend on a few different factors.
Moore said all counties will count their provisional ballots this Wednesday, which is the first step in the process. Moore said provisional ballots are any ballots that were filled out but weren’t run through the machines for certain reasons.
“For example, if a person came to a polling place but didn’t have their I.D., they could have still been given a ballot but it couldn’t have been run through the machines to be counted until the person was verified as a registered voter,” he said.
“Some people have confused provisional ballots with absentee ballots, but these aren’t the same. All of the absentee ballots were counted at 5 p.m. the night of the election, so they were included in the final results.
“Franklin County doesn’t have any provisional ballots, but there are some counties in the district that do and they will be counted Wednesday.”
Moore said once the provisional ballots have been counted, all counties will certify their totals on Friday and then send the certified results to the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.
“The state will be receiving results from all 67 counties, so it could take awhile before the state will then certify the votes,” he said.
“But once the state certifies the votes, if there is a half percent or less difference between the vote totals for Bedford and Stutts, they will have 72 hours to ask for a recount.”
Moore said he has had several people ask if voters will have to return to the polls for a run-off, but he said that would not be the case.
“A recount and a run-of are two completely different things,” he said.
“A run-off wouldn’t be used in this case because there were only two candidates to begin with. If there is a recount, whatever outcome it shows will be the final outcome.”
Bedford said he and his wife, Maudie, would accept whatever result comes out of this process.
“Maudie and I want to thank the thousands of supporters who came to the polls to continue our support of new jobs, better schools, and bringing millions of tax dollars back to help our district grow. Over the years we’ve worked very hard to create a better future for our children and the future generations to come,” he said.
“Maudie and I believe that God has a purpose for our lives and if it is time to turn the page and start a new chapter, then we are at peace with those plans.
“However, there is a process dictated by law that must play out before any of us know for sure who has won the race for Senate District 6. Maudie and I will leave the outcome of this election in the hands of the appropriate officials and we’ll leave our future in the hands of God.”