Voting System Used

 This search field describes the various methods and equipment used by voters to cast their votes in each state. This category focuses only on the primary and accessible voting equipment used, and does not include any variations that may exist for absentee or provisional ballots. For most states, absentee ballots are hand-counted paper ballots only. See the individual search terms for further clarifications.

Counting Method

This search field describes the methods by which votes are recounted. This category exists separately from Voting System Used, for while two states may both use paper ballots, one may hand count all ballots while another may feed all ballots into an automatic tabulator. Unless otherwise noted, the counting method applies to votes cast on the primary and accessible voting equipment and not to how absentee and provisional ballots are counted. See the individual search terms for further clarifications. Counting method chosen by election official – This search term, for the Counting Method search field, indicates that state law allows election officials discretion when performing a recount as to the counting method to be used. The election official responsible for choosing the counting method varies by state.

Close Vote Margin Options

This search field captures the different requirements used by states to determine if the difference in votes received by competing candidates or by opposing positions on a ballot measure is small enough to automatically initiate a recount. The search options include both percentages (in which the vote margin between candidates is divided by a given number of votes, such as the total votes cast for an office) as well as vote count differences (in which a set number of votes, rather than a percentage, is given as the requirement). See "Less than or equal to X%" below for more details.

Initiating Mechanism

This search field describes both persons (candidates, voters, election officials, courts) and circumstances (close vote margins, or audit results mandating a recount) that may trigger a recount to occur after the initial counting of votes. See the individual search terms for further clarifications.

Audit Laws Details

This search field shows those states that have in place laws regarding not just recounts but also post-election audits. While only two states (Hawaii and Mississippi) lack recount laws, many more states lack laws regarding post-election audits.

Candidate-Initiated Options

This search field describes a number of notable characteristics that shape the candidate-initiated recount process differently in each state. These include both limitations that a state may set (some states allow candidates to request a recount only if there is a particular close vote margin, or only if they are running for a particular office) and privileges that a state may grant (such as allowing party officials to request a recount if the candidate does not).

Cost for Candidate-Initiated Recounts

These search fields describe the various means by which states obtain funds to pay for a recount initiated by a candidate or voter(s). This search field exists only for candidate- and voter-initiated recounts, as these are the only initiating mechanisms for which states charge the cost to a private individual, rather than paying the cost from local or state public funds. See the individual search terms for further clarifications.

Cost for Voter-Initiated Recounts

These search fields describe the various means by which states obtain funds to pay for a recount initiated by a candidate or voter(s). This search field exists only for candidate- and voter-initiated recounts, as these are the only initiating mechanisms for which states charge the cost to a private individual, rather than paying the cost from local or state public funds. See the individual search terms for further clarifications.

Challengers and Observers

 This search field describes the different ways in which states provide guidance for the public to participate as observers and challengers in the recount process. See the individual search terms for further clarifications.

Rules for Determining Voter Intent

This search field captures whether state law (including administrative rules and codes in addition to state statutes) provides any guidance and who has the authority to establish definitions of voter intent. While some states provide definitions and guidance for how voter intent is determined in statute, others use the statutes to delegate authority to an office such as the Secretary of State or State Election Board; other states neither delegate authority nor provide guidance (whether general or detailed) as to how voter intent should be determined. See the individual search terms for further clarifications.

Close Vote Margin

Generally, a “close vote margin” is when the margin of votes between two candidates or two answers on a ballot question is quite small, or close. What constitutes “close” varies by state, as does the actual method for calculating this margin; please see the Close Vote Margin section on each state profile for details both on the specific margin set and the method used to calculate the margin. We use the term in several places in the recount database:

  1. The Close Vote Margin search field captures the different requirements used by states to determine if the difference in votes received by competing candidates or answers on a ballot measure is small enough to warrant a recount. The search options include both percentages (in which the vote margin between candidates is divided by a given number of votes, such as the total votes cast for an office) as well as vote count differences (in which a set number of votes, rather than a percentage, is given as the requirement). Please note that the percentage options indicate the highest vote margin that will initiate a recount in a given state. See “Less than or equal to X%” for more details.
  2. Close vote margin as a search term for the Initiating Mechanisms search field is used to describe any state that has laws requiring that a recount take place if the difference in votes received by competing candidates or answers on a measure is small enough that it falls within a pre-established margin. (The actual language used by states to describe this type of recount varies greatly, but they are often referred to as “automatic” or “mandatory” recounts.)

Recounts initiated by a close vote margin differ from those recounts that are described as a candidate - or voter-initiated with a close vote margin required. For the latter, a voter or candidate must take action in order for a recount to begin, though the law limits their ability to request a recount to those times when there is a close vote margin. For the former, election officials are legally bound to begin recount proceedings regardless of the actions of candidates or voters. The term is also used more generally throughout the recount guide any time a small vote margin somehow comes into play for a recount (for instance, a state may require that a different counting method be used if the election results fall within a specified close vote margin). It is important to note that different methods are used from state to state to calculate the vote margin. Please see the Close Vote Margin section of each state profile for details.

Voter-Initiated Options

This search field describes the characteristics that shape the voter-initiated recount process in each state. These include both limitations a state may set (some states allow voters to request a recount only if there is a particular close vote margin) and privileges a state may grant (such as allowing voters to request recounts for offices as well as ballot measures). See the individual search terms for further clarifications.

Initiating Mechanisms

This search field describes both persons (candidates, voters, election officials, courts) and circumstances (close vote margins, or audit results mandating a recount) that may trigger a recount to occur after the initial counting of votes. See the individual search terms for further clarifications.

This information was updated 8/16/2020.  

Voting System Used

Paper ballots  (hand marked paper ballots, BMDs for accessibility)

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Counting Method

Retabulation only

The statutes define a “recount” as “the processing of ballots through the tabulation system for an additional time or times....”  Wyoming Statutes (WY Stat) § 22-1-102.

Initiating Mechanisms

Election official-initiated
Close vote margin
Candidate-initiated
Voter-initiated

Election-Official Initiated Recounts:

“The county canvassing board shall make a recount of precinct votes if it appears to the board that a recount is required due to irregularities in that precinct.”  WY Stat § 22-16-109(a).  The canvassing board initiating the recount designates the precincts to be recounted. WY Stat § 22-16-112(a).

Timing:  WY Stat § 22-16-112(c).

Close Vote Margin Options

Less than or equal to 1%
Initiated automatically

For candidates, an automatic recount will be done “of all the votes cast for any office in which the difference in number of votes cast for the winning candidate receiving the least number of votes and the number of votes cast for the losing candidate receiving the greatest number of votes is less than one percent (1%) of the number of votes cast for the winning candidate receiving the least number of votes cast for that office. This recount shall be made in the entire district in which the candidates are standing for election.”  WY Stat § 22-16-109(b).

For ballot measures, an automatic recount will be done when the ballot measure “receives a number of votes, greater or lesser, within one percent (1%) of the number of votes required for passage. The one percent (1%) variance shall be calculated based upon the total number of votes cast on the proposition, except for constitutional amendments in which case the variance shall be calculated based upon the total number of votes cast in the election.” WY Stat § 22-16-111(a)(i).

Timing:  WY Stat § 22-16-112(c).

Candidate-Initiated Options

Any candidate for an office may obtain a recount by “making and filing an affidavit alleging that fraud or error occurred in counting, returning or canvassing the votes cast in any part of the district….” WY Stat § 22-16-110(a).  The recount will be conducted in “all precincts in which that candidate was voted upon for that office.” WY Stat § 22-16-112(a)(i).

Timing: WY Stat §§ 22-16-110(a) & 22-16-112(c).

Voter-Initiated Options

Voters may request recounts for initiatives/questions

A recount on a ballot question will be done when twenty‑five voters registered in a district voting on the ballot question file an affidavit and submit a deposit.  For recounts on ballot measures voted on in only one county, the affidavit is filed with the county clerk.  For recounts on ballot measures voted on in more than one county, the affidavit is filed with the secretary of state. WY Stat § 22-16-111(a)(ii).

Timing: WY Stat §§ 22-16-111(ii)  & 22-16-112(c).

Cost for Candidate-Initiated Recounts

Initiator pays deposit or bond before recount
Payer of costs depends on outcome of recount

“An affidavit requesting a recount must be accompanied by the following deposit: (i) If the difference in number of votes cast as calculated pursuant to W.S. 22-16-109(b) is one percent (1%) or greater but less than five percent (5%), five hundred dollars ($500.00); (ii) If the difference in number of votes cast as calculated pursuant to W.S. 22-16-109(b) is five percent (5%) or greater, three thousand dollars ($3,000.00).”  If the outcome of the election is changed by the recount, the deposit is refunded. If the outcome is not changed, the initiators are liable for the actual costs of the recount up to the maximum of the amount deposited.  WY Stat § 22-16-113.

Cost for Voter-Initiated Recounts

Initiator pays deposit or bond before recount
Payer of costs depends on outcome of recount
 

Initiators must pay a deposit of $100 when they file the affidavit for the recount. If the outcome of the election is changed by the recount, the deposit is refunded. If the outcome is not changed, the initiators are liable for the actual costs of the recount up to $500 per county recounted. WY Stat § 22-16-111(a)(ii) & (b).

Challengers and Observers

No statutory guidance for recount observers
No statutory guidance for recount challengers

We found no statutes describing a role for either observers or challengers during the recount process, nor did we find any statute requiring that the recount be conducted publicly.

Rules for Determining Voter Intent

Secretary of State or Election Board responsible for defining intent

There is very little statutory guidance for determining voter intent.

“For ballots designed to be counted by machine, each individual vote shall be determined by the voting equipment and shall not be determined subjectively by human tabulation except when the intent of the voter is unmistakable but the ballot was received in such damaged, soiled, or other condition that it is rejected by the machine.  The secretary of state may promulgate rules establishing standards for counting such ballots. For ballots not designed to be counted by machine, only votes clearly marked, as provided by W.S. 22‑14‑104 and rules promulgated pursuant to this code, shall be tallied. For write‑in votes, names which are misspelled or abbreviated or the use of nicknames of candidates shall be counted for the candidate if the vote is obvious to the board.” WY Stat § 22-14-114.

“A vote which is not clearly marked shall not be tallied for that office or question but votes clearly marked on the remainder of the ballot shall be tallied.”   WY Stat § 22-14-104.

See also Administrative Rule, Reference Number: 002.0005.6.10312011, “Rules for Establishing Standards for Counting Damaged Ballots.”

State Has Audit Laws
No
Revision Notes

This information was updated 8/16/2020 using the 2020 Wyoming Election Code and the Wyoming Administrative Rules accessed 8/16/2020.