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GOP recount to begin today

A recount in the Republican gubernatorial primary is set to begin today, and GOP chairman Mike Hubbard said he hopes it will end by Wednesday.

“We have consistently followed the Secretary of State’s guidelines relating to a recount, and we will continue to do so until this recount is resolved,” Hubbard said. “Our involvement in this process is simply to ensure fairness and transparency so that the integrity of our election process is preserved. We respect Tim’s decision to move forward and will not impede his request for a full recount.”

Tim James finished third in the primary, just 147 votes behind Robert Bentley. James has asked for a recount in all 67 counties, and his campaign will foot the bill.

Bradley Byrne finished first in the voting.

Bentley’s campaign criticized the recount, which spokesman Bryan Sanders noted will be done by Republican volunteers and not by election professionals in each county.

“Under Alabama law, an automatic recount in a general election changes the results of an election; a petition-based recount in a primary can only be used as evidence in an election contest to follow the primary runoff,” Sanders said. “This is largely because an automatic general election recount is administered by trained and qualified election professionals whereas a petition-based recount is administered by untrained volunteers and is thus considered to be less accurate and less reliable.”

Attorney General Troy King issued a ruling Friday that the recount can proceed but will not have an effect on the names on the July 13 runoff ballot. His opinion states that the recount can only offer a basis for a challenge to the results of the primary runoff.

Secretary of State Beth Chapman said over the weekend that the recount could go forward.