Santa Cruz County Elections


Prepared by the Santa Cruz County Elections Department
701 Ocean St., Room 210
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-454-2445 (FAX)


A recount is conducted by the elections official for the purpose of verifying the number of votes counted for any office or measure in an election. California Elections Code Chapter 12, Sections 15620 through 15634 govern voter requested recounts.

Who can request  

Any registered voter of the State of California may file a request. The person does not need to be a resident of the district in which the recount is requested. (E.C. 15620)

Timing of Request

The request must be filed within five (5) calendar days after the completion of the official canvass. The canvass is complete when the elections official signs the Certification of the Election Results. (E.C. 15620) If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is moved to the next business day. (E.C. 15)

Exceptions: For statewide contests, the request must be filed within five (5) calendar days beginning on the 29th day after the election.

Format of request

  • The request must be in writing. (E.C. 15620)

  • Must specify the contest to be recounted. (E.C. 15620)

  • Must state on behalf of which candidate, slate of electors, or position on a measure (affirmative or negative) it is filed. (E.C. 15620)

  • May specify the order in which precincts shall be counted. (E.C. 15622)

  • May specify the method of counting to be used (computer, manual or both). (E.C. 15627)

  • May specify any other relevant material to be examined. (E.C. 15630)

  • For statewide contests, may specify in which county or counties the recount is sought. (E.C. 15621)

Place of filing

  • With the county elections official responsible for conducting the election, if the contest is not voted upon statewide. (E.C. 15620)

  • If election is conducted in more than one county, the request may be filed with the county elections official of, and the recount conducted within, any or all of the affected counties. (E.C. 15620)

  • With the Secretary of State if the contest is voted upon statewide.
    (E.C. 15621)

  • With the City Clerk if it is a city election (or if the city has not consolidated with the county). (E.C. 15620)

Notice of recount

A notice stating the date and place of the recount will be posted by the elections official at least one day prior to the recount and the following persons will be notified in person or by any federally regulated overnight mail service: (E.C. 15628)
  • All candidates for the office being recounted.

  • Authorized representatives for presidential candidates, if the race for presidential delegates is to be recounted.

  • Proponents of any initiative or referendum or persons filing ballot arguments for or against any initiative, referendum or measure to be recounted.

  • Secretary of State if the recount is for candidates for any state or federal office, delegates to a national convention, or any state measure.

Process of Recount

  • The recount is open to the public. (E.C. 15629)

  • Recount must start no later than seven calendar days following the receipt of the request and shall be continued daily, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excepted, for not less than six hours each day until completed. (E.C. 15626)

  • No results or running tallies will be released to observers or the media during the recount. Observers may keep their own notes if they wish; however, any numbers they release are not official if they have not been confirmed by the elections official.

Personnel Requirements

  • A manual recount must be conducted under the supervision of the elections official by recount boards, consisting of four voters of the county, appointed by the elections official. Recount board members are paid the same as precinct board clerks (not inspectors). (E.C. 15625)

  • All actual costs of the recount are directly recoverable from the party requesting the recount and may include, but are not limited to: supervision, security guards, personnel used to review relevant material, computer personnel and administrative costs.)

Result of Recount

The results of a recount are declared null and void unless every vote in which the contest appeared is recounted. (E.C. 15632)

Upon completion of a recount, if a different candidate, slate of electors, or position on a measure receives a plurality of votes, the results of the official canvass will be changed and the election results re-certified. (E.C. 15632)

A copy of the results of any recount conducted shall be posted conspicuously in the office of the elections official. (E.C. 15633)


Cost and payment

The elections official shall determine the amount of deposit necessary to cover costs of the recount for each day. (E.C. 15624)

The voter filing the request for recount must deposit, before the recount commences and at the beginning of each day following, such sums as required by the election official to cover the cost of the recount for that day. (E.C. 15624)

If upon completion of the recount the results are reversed, the deposit shall be returned. (E.C. 15624)


  • 1 Board $300 - Supervisor Pay $325 - Cost per day $625

  • 2 Boards $600 - Supervisor Pay $500 - Cost per day $1100

  • 3 Boards $900 - Supervisor Pay $675 - Cost per day $1575


Automatic Manual Recount

By law, a random sample of ballots from every election must be recounted manually to verify the computer count. A minimum of all votes cast in one percent (1%) of the precincts is included in this process. This manual recount must be completed before the election is certified. The Automatic Manual Recount is open to the public (E.C. 15360)

Click Here for Recount Ground Rules

[ Election's Home Page ] [ E-Mail ] [ Back to Top of this Page ] [ Call Us ]