Legislation would only allow recount elections in closer races

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | 8:08 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House of Representatives has passed legislation limiting the ability of losing candidates to seek recounts in close elections.

Under current Missouri law, losing candidates can get recounts whenever their margin of defeat is less than 1 percentage point.

Legislation that passed by a 122-32 vote Wednesday would allow recounts only when the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

Sponsoring Rep. Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, said Missouri's county clerks' association suggested the change as a way to save time and money. Dugger said modern electronic vote-tabulating machines are more accurate than methods of counting used in the past.

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