The most common way to contest the results of an election is to request a recount; politicians can also present a case before a judge if they feel that the election was not performed properly. States that allow recounts often have restrictions on who can ask for recounts.Continue Reading
In general, voting officials determine if a certain vote meets the criteria necessary for a recount. In some states, recounts are automatically performed if the vote differential falls under a particular percentage-based limit; in Alabama, for example, if the difference between the winner's votes and loser's votes is less than 0.5 percent, the ballots are automatically recounted.
In other situations, someone might have to request a recount. The losing candidate, in particular, is general charged with filing a request for a recount. However, party officials might be able to make a request in certain situations as well, and 17 states allow votes to request a recount. Again, the vote differential generally needs to be within a particular margin for the official to call for a recount.
Recounts are mandatory, and seven states have no laws on the books pertaining to recounts. Judges, however, have power over elections, so concerned parties can generally file paperwork with a judge during and after the election if they believe they can demonstrate cheating or other problems with the election.Learn more about Elections