Clerks Meridian City Council recount

Clerks wait to be dismissed after hand-counting ballots for the Meridian City Council Seat 6 recount at the Ada County Elections Office on Nov. 19.

Support Local Journalism


BOISE — Luke Cavener on Friday maintained his election victory in the Meridian City Council Seat 6 race, following a recount done at the request of his challenger, Mike Hon.

The recount, which took place at the Ada County Elections Office, was administered at Hon’s request due to the narrow margin of 56 votes between the candidates in the general election and a mistake with ballot name rotation.

The recount showed no change in results from the certified Nov. 2 election, according to a tweet from Ada County Elections.

Cavener, the incumbent, originally won the Meridian seat 6 election in early November, with 6,380 votes. Hon trailed behind at 6,324, as previously reported by the Idaho Press.

Precincts 1418, 1420 and 2003 were recounted. Cavener received 2,484 recounted votes, to Hon’s 1,716, according to a press release from Ada County Elections.

Hon said in a statement on his Facebook page, posted after the recount results were released, that he plans to engage with an attorney to potentially file suit with the Ada County Clerk’s office to contest the results of the election.

“Part of it was not administered by Idaho Code, i.e, the absentee ballots were not randomized correctly which could have had an effect on the outcome,” Hon wrote.

After the results were finalized, Cavener said in a tweet he is looking forward to being sworn in for another term in January.

“After nearly 7 hours and thousands in expenses there was no change to the count,” he tweeted.

Mike Hon - recount

Meridian City Council Seat 6 challenger Mike Hon samples the ballot boxes at the Ada County Elections Office on Nov. 19.

Hon told the Idaho Press he asked for a recount because it was such a close race and because the elections office “was supposed to rotate Precinct C, and they didn’t, so there you go.”

The names of the city council candidates are required per Idaho code to be rotated, which means changing the order of the names listed on the ballot. This is to prevent an advantage caused by voters who don’t know the candidates choosing the first name on the list.

The ballots were set to rotate as if there were two candidates running, not three — so Hon was never listed first on the absentee ballots, said Ada County Clerk, Phil McGrane.

Hon said beforehand he was not nervous about the recount, adding he didn’t know if he may secure a win.

Cavener said he was not nervous, either. He said in an interview before the results were announced that he felt confident there wouldn’t be a change in the outcome of the race.

Neither of the candidates were familiar with an election recount process until Friday. They both planned on staying in the Ada County Elections Office until the votes were finalized.

Cavener expressed his gratitude towards the election’s office and McGrane, who was involved in the recount process.

“I’ve worked on multiple presidential elections,” McGrane said. “We’ve improved our process dramatically in terms of how we get the results out as quickly as we do.”

The recount process began with a small sample’s worth, around 800 ballots, to hand count and match to the machines in order to confirm the system was working properly.

The clerks had to start from scratch after determining the sample was accurate.

Cavener’s 56-vote margin of victory in the Nov. 2 election was roughly four-tenths of a percent, McGrane said, so Hon was required to pay $100 per precinct that was recounted. The only instance the recount would be free, according to McGrane, is if the vote margin was less than or equal to 0.01% of the votes cast.

Recommended for you

Load comments