Fresh tallies of absentee and provisional ballots narrowed state Rep. Dwayne Bohac’s margin over Democrat Adam Milasincic to 47 votes, while incumbent Republican Mike Schofield of Katy trailed Democratic challenger Gina Calanni by 113 votes.
Harris County Commissioners Court will make the results official Friday, according to the county clerk’s office. Candidates may request a recount if they trail by less than 10 percent of the total number of votes received by the leading candidate, meaning both races are well within the requisite margin.
As it stood Thursday, Bohac’s lead amounted to less than one tenth of a percent, out of 48,417 votes. Calanni led by a more comfortable .17 percent, among 66,675 votes. Election night returns had showed Bohac leading by 72 votes and Calanni up by 97 votes.
Either way, the results mark a dramatic shift from 2014, when Schofield and Bohac, R-Houston, last faced Democratic foes. That year, the two Republicans won by more than 30 percentage points, each roughly doubling their opponents’ vote totals.
In the 108th House District, Democrat Joanna Cattanach requested a recount Wednesday, the Dallas Morning News reported. She trailed incumbent state Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, by 221 votes, according to Dallas County elections results updated Wednesday.
In Collin County, state Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano, led Democrat Sharon Hirsch by 391 votes in the 66th House District, according to the county’s elections site. Hirsch had not conceded as of Thursday morning.
Cattanach is the first candidate to request a recount, but she won’t be the last. Expect her to have some company after the results around the state are certified Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in CD23:
The political roller coaster in Congressional District 23 continued Thursday when Gina Ortiz Jones’ campaign turned its attention to election officials in Medina County.
Commissioners in Medina declined to certify the county’s results, temporarily raising the possibility of a recount in the Republican stronghold. The commissioners were given two different figures for the number of absentee voters — 1,034 and 1,010.
Jones trails incumbent Republican Will Hurd by around 1,000 votes in the race, which remains too close to call.
There’s no other choice but for this department to have a recount,” Republican Commissioner Tim Neuman said after finding the variation.
But a couple hours later, Medina Elections Administrator Lupe Torres said they were able to identify the discrepancy and would reschedule the canvassing for Monday, a plan Neuman said he agreed with.
On Thursday, the [Jones] campaign accused Medina County of breaching protocol after counting 981 mail ballots on election night. Early voting ballot boards are the small, bipartisan groups charged with reviewing and qualifying those ballots, along with provisional votes.
At the end of the night, the ballot board usually turns off the machine it used to count the ballots, as is protocol, according to affidavits from the two Democratic-appointed board members, which the campaign provided.
Instead, Torres told them to leave the machine running. Torres told them he needed to run 29 “limited” ballots through the machine, bringing the number to 1,010.
Limited ballots are cast by people who have recently moved from another county but have not switched their registration.
Torres initially denied those claims, but he later said he would “correct himself” and admitted it happened. When asked why about the denials, he said: “That’s what I thought had happened.
I don’t even know what to make of that. Just add it to the weirdness pile for this election. We’ll know more soon.