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Cuomo wants closest elections to face an automatic recount

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Manhattan on May

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Manhattan on May 12. Credit: Charles Eckert

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is proposing that very close elections and referendums on ballot propositions face an automatic recount.

Under his proposal, statewide races that end on election night with a difference of two-tenths of 1 percent or less of votes cast would face an automatic recount. All other state and local races and ballot propositions would face a recount if the difference on election night is five-tenths of 1 percent or less.

Currently, a recount is usually triggered by a lawsuit by losing candidates, leading to a costly and lengthy recount. Cuomo’s proposal could speed that up and give a more definitive, if temporary outcome on election night.

Races decided by such a small margin are more common in local races and in state legislative races than in statewide races.

"By establishing clear rules mandating when a recount should be triggered and a process for local governments to follow, we'll boost confidence in the democratic process," Cuomo said.

This was the latest proposal Cuomo announced that he said will be part of his State of the State address to the Legislature in January.

Legislative leaders said they will review Cuomo’s proposal.

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