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Potential Recounts In Three Unsettled House Races

November 12, 1986

Undated (AP) _ A Democratic congressional challenger in Indiana who refuses to concede began identifying precincts for review by a state commission Tuesday, in one of three U.S. House races that remain undecided a week after the elections.

The action by Thomas W. Ward lays the ground for a recount of the 3rd District race, in which Indiana Secretary of State Edwin Simcox has declared incumbent Republican John Hiler the winner by 66 votes.

A prolonged 1984 recount in Indiana’s 8th District ended with the House of Representatives declaring the incumbent Democrat the winner by four votes.

In a second unsettled election, Minnesota state Sen. Collin Peterson, a Democrat, has claimed victory over Republican incumbent Arlan Stangeland although a final vote canvass shows Stangeland leading with a margin of 221 votes.

And in North Carolina, Democratic challenger Robin Britt has said he’ll ask for a state recount after local boards certified Republican incumbent Howard Coble the winner by 82 votes.

In the Indiana race, all voting machines from the 3rd District’s 447 precincts have been impounded by state police in anticipation of the recount.

″Now the ball’s back in our court,″ said Bob Dion, Ward’s press secretary.

Ward has not yet filed the formal recount petition due by Nov. 19.

The state’s Recount Commission was created by the Legislature after the House rejected the results of recounts conducted in each county in the 1984 8th District race. In 1985, the House declared Rep. Frank McCloskey, D-Ind., the winner by four votes in the 8th District over Republican challenger Rick McIntyre.

Vote totals from the six counties in the northern Indiana district show Hiler with 75,952 votes to Ward’s 75,886, Simcox said.

In Minnesota’s 7th District, which covers 23 counties in much of the state’s northwestern corner, Peterson said Friday there were irregularities in some precincts.

According to The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, the final vote canvass that will be sent to Secretary of State Joan Growe for certification shows Stangeland with 94,124 votes to Peterson’s 93,903, a difference of 221 votes.

However, the newspaper said a 100-vote error in Beltrami County was not reflected in the official compilation completed Friday. Due to a mathematical error, Stangeland was credited with 100 votes more than he received. Once that error has been corrected, Stangeland would hold a 121-vote margin over Peterson.

Peterson said he was certain either he or Stangeland will file a lawsuit seeking a recount.

Election boards in the three counties of North Carolina’s 6th District have certified the results as 72,409 for Coble and 72,327 for Britt, who lost the seat to Coble in 1984 after one term, and have rejected Britt’s recount requests.

Coble has claimed victory. If the state also rejects Britt’s recount request, he would have to go to state court.

Two other races were too close to call until a couple of days after last week’s voting.

Democrat Tom McMillen, a retired professional basketball player, narrowly won Maryland’s 4th District Race with a margin of 446 votes over Republican Robert Neall, minority leader of the state’s House of Delegates.

And in New York’s 27th Districts, Democrat Rosemary Pooler conceded defeat Friday in her race against incumbent Republican George Wortley after a recount showed she was 511 votes short, at 82,865 to 82,354.

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