Kent requests recount for house representative seat

Joe Kent, a Republican candidate for the 46th District seat in the Michigan House of Representatives, has requested a recount in light of his narrow defeat in the Aug. 2 primary.
Kent, of Addison Township, lost to fellow Republican John Reilly, of Oakland Township, by 29 votes, according to the unofficial results posted on the Secretary of State website.
Reilly received 6,460 votes (50.11 percent), while Kent garnered 6,431 votes (49.89 percent).
“The integrity of our democracy demands every vote is counted,” said Kent in the written statement released last week. “With the results being less than a .3 percent difference, a recount will ensure that the will of voters has been upheld.”
Kent has gained two votes since election night.
When the unofficial results were initially posted on the Oakland County Elections Division webpage, they showed Kent having 6,429 votes, losing by 31.
But the official results on the county webpage now reflect the unofficial results posted on the state website, a 29-vote loss for Kent.
Why the difference?
“We had two precincts in Orion Township that had to be re-tabulated because of ballot jamming (in the optical scanning machine),” explained Joe Rozell, director of elections for Oakland County.
“When we look at the poll book and there’s say 500 people in the poll book, but that number doesn’t match the number of ballots that went through the machine, then we have that precinct brought in and re-tabulated.”
As a result of this, Kent picked up two more votes in Orion.
Reilly issued his own statement to his supporters regarding the recount request – “At such a narrow margin – less than one vote per precinct – I can’t blame Joe Kent for wanting to count the votes again. With a margin of 29 votes out of 12,906, it is possible a recount will reverse the election outcome. I don’t think it’s likely. Oakland County runs clean elections, and most recounts find very few errors. In his announcement, Mr. Kent made no mention of any evidence of miscounting.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is the number of votes Democratic candidate David Lillis, of Lake Orion, received. He ran unopposed and garnered 2,940 votes.
The 46 District encompasses 37 precincts in Oxford, Addison, Orion, Brandon and Oakland townships along with the villages of Oxford, Leonard, Ortonville and Lake Orion.
– Editor C.J. Carnacchio