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A property tax increase for Hillsborough Schools is going to a recount

Voting Booths lined up at the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office
Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer said experience tells him a recount is likely.

The difference between the yes and no votes is so small, it triggers an automatic recount.

A lot is riding on the question of whether Hillsborough County Schools will have its property tax increase. Unofficial results showed it was defeated by .28 percentage points, as of a little after noon on Wednesday.

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer said experience tells him a recount is likely.

"By state law, if there is any race or issue that is .5 percent or less, it automatically triggers a machine recount," Latimer said. "Then, after we do the machine recount, if it is then under one-quarter of a percent, then that triggers a manual recount."

Thursday, the Hillsborough County Canvassing Board ordered a recount starting Friday at 10 a.m., according to a news release.

Voters had until 5 p.m. Thursday to "cure" or fix missing signatures or signatures that don't match on vote-by-mail ballots. Latimer said his office had about 400 of those.

"So there are some additional ballots that could impact that race," Latimer said.

The canvassing board met Thursday to "order a machine recount if any race or issue would be defeated by .5% or less of the total votes cast for that race or issue," according to a release from Latimer's office.

And the tax referendum won't be the only race or issue that is subject to recount.

Latimer said not one of the four candidates in the race for Hillsborough County Court Judge Group 14 got the 50%, plus one required to win. And the vote totals in that race also triggered an automatic recount.

Communications Manager Gerri Kramer, of the Hillsborough County election supervisor's office said if a machine recount is ordered, it will start at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Updated: August 26, 2022 at 5:27 AM EDT
This story has been updated with the Hillsborough County Canvassing Board ordering a recount.
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