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Recounts underway for Hillsborough school referendum; county court judge

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Steve Newborn
/
WUSF Public Media

Workers at the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office will be working until Saturday night recounting votes for a property tax increase for public schools. The proposal narrowly lost in Tuesday's primary election.

Voters in Hillsborough County turned down a property tax increase for public schools Tuesday. But a recount has to be completed before the results are official.

Workers at the county's Supervisor of Elections office spent much of Friday doing a recount that should last until Saturday evening.

Elections supervisor Craig Latimer says the school tax referendum came up short by 591 votes. That's a difference of .26%. That's under the .5% or less threshold for a mandatory machine recount.

"So at 10 o'clock this morning we began the process," Latimer said. "And then we begin running the 229,000-plus ballots back through our high-speed tabulators again, so that we can recount them all."

Latimer says if the recount shows the difference is less than .25%, each ballot will be counted again - by hand. The county canvassing board is scheduled to examine the results at 11 a.m. Sunday.

And that's not the only recount there is also one between the second- and third-place finishers in the race for County Court Judge Group 14. This will determine who will go to a runoff in November.

Melissa Black, who won 29.85% of the vote, will go into a runoff with either Mike Isaak, who - according to preliminary counts - got 28.38%, or Linette “Starr” Brookins, who got 28.03% of the vote.

Our journalists are independent, curious, respectful, and accountable to you. We’re committed to keeping you at the center of this conversation on democracy, staying in touch through surveys, social media, and in-person events. We won’t be chasing politicians, but instead we’ll tell stories based on the questions you want answered.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.