State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Hotspots: Key Post-Election Disputes in the States

Keep checking back here for links to the latest state midterm election results and recount coverage


Alaska, Arizona, CaliforniaColorado, Connecticut, Illinois (Gubernatorial, House), Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri,New York, North Carolina, OregonTexas, VirginiaWashington



Joe Miller, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alaska, will probably require a hand recount of the write-in votes before he will concede the race.

Wednesday night, Democrat Scott McAdams conceded the race after only getting 23% of the vote.

Murkowski and Miller are preparing for the next round of ballot counting that will begin next week. Murkowski has set up a separate campaign account to support campaign efforts in the counting process.

Joe Miller is questioning the fairness of the process and has filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent misspelled ballots being counted for Senator Lisa Murkowski.

The Associated Press reports that a federal court judge has denied Republican Joe Miller’s request for an injunction to stop the counting of incorrectly spelled write-in ballots.

Live coverage of the counting is being streamed online.

The Court has rejected Miller’s request to stop the recount.  The count now shows Murkowski with 98% of the initial write-in vote.

Joe Miller’s prospects for victory are getting slimmer, and the lawyers are starting to leave Alaska.

Alaska election officials have completed the fifth day of counting write-in ballots.  Senator Lisa Murkowski has retained 89% of write-in votes

With almost all votes counted, Senator Lisa Murkowski currently has an edge of over 2,000 votes over Republican Joe Miller.  Murkowski’s total does not include the over 10,000 challenged ballots.

As counting ends, Murkowski is heading back home and is expected to declare victory soon.  8,135 ballots have been challenged, but even if all of those ballots were thrown out by the Court, Murkowski would still be ahead by more than 2,000 votes.

With all but 700 write-in votes counted, Senator Lisa Murkowski has declared victory over Republican candidate Joe Miller.  The AP called the race for Murkowski Wednesday evening.

Joe Miller is asking a federal judge to stop election officials from certifying results declaring Murkowski the winner.  Murkowski leads by about 10,400 votes; Miller has challenged 8,153 of the ballots counted for Murkowski.

A federal judge has granted Joe Miller (R) a temporary injunction preventing election officials from naming Senator Lisa Murkowski the winner.  Miller filed his complaint on the grounds that the counting of misspelled ballots for Murkowski violates state law.  Miller will now bring the issue to state court.

Attorneys for the state of Alaska have asked a judge to decide the case over contested absentee ballots by next week.  The case will be heard Wednesday in state court in Juneau.  Senator Lisa Murkowski is seeking to intervene in the suit.  Her attorneys have said her seniority will be in jeopardy if she is not sworn in when the new Congress meets in January.

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The Colorado Senate race was too close to call on Wednesday, but now the Denver Post is calling it for Michael Bennet, the incumbent Democrat.

Bennet held a lead of around 15,000 votes – less than half of one percentage point – over his opponent this afternoon with 90% of precincts reporting.

Republican Ken Buck has officially conceded to Michael Bennet

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Washington State

With incumbent Patty Murray (D) leading challenger Dino Rossi (R) by a small margin, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer estimates a total of 572,000 ballots yet to be counted, many of them absentee.  The majority of them are expected in highly Democratic King County.

This may lead to some major déjà vu for Rossi, who lost his 2004 gubernatorial bid by 113 votes and never formally conceded to Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire.

Going into the third day of vote tallies, Murray is still leading Rossi by a margin of about 28,000 votes though there’s still no clear winner.

Now, the Seattle Times has declared Patty Murray the victor in a tweet.  This was confirmed by the New York Times.

On Thursday, Murray declared victory over opponent Dino Ross after three days of vote tallying.

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The Connecticut Secretary of State unofficially declared Dan Malloy (D) the winner of a close race for the governor’s mansion on Wednesday.  The press conference to announce the winner, scheduled for Thursday at noon, has been postponed, but the Secretary of State’s office says the official announcement will take place on Thursday afternoon. Malloy has declared victory and named transition team leaders.

The Associated Press added to the confusion. First, they declared Malloy the winner, but late on Wednesday withdrew that declaration and declared Tom Foley (R) the winner based on internal numbers. Late Thursday morning, the AP changed their winner again, declaring Malloy the winner of the race.

The Associated Press has now called the Connecticut governor’s race for Malloy, but Foley is not conceding the race.

As of November 8, the Connecticut GOP says that its waiting for Foley to decide whether he will challenge the election results.  They also indicate that, upon reviewing the information, the election appears to be more “fouled up” than it originally appeared.

Foley has conceded the Connecticut governor’s race, but the Connecticut GOP says they will file a request with the US Justice Department to do a probe into Bridgeport’s handling of the election.

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The Illinois governor’s race is still too close to call.  Republican challenger Bill Brady anticipates a “thirty day process” of validating votes and counting absentee ballots.

Illinois incumbent Pat Quinn (D) is declaring victory over challenger Bill Brady. Quinn leads Brady by over 19,000 votes.

Brady officially conceded the race and Quinn was declared victorious on November 5.

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Once again, the state of Minnesota could be headed into recount. Mark Dayton (D) is leading Tom Emmer (R) by a little over 8,000 votes with all but one precinct reporting.

The Minnesota Secretary of State has proposed a recount timeline, given that the margin between Dayton and Emmer does not widen in the next few weeks.

The slim margin between the two candidates has triggered an automatic recount.  It’s unsure when the results of that recount will come out, but until then there are some rumblings of a potential lawsuit that may or may not get off the ground.

The Minnesota Star-Tribue reports that Dayton and Emmer are raising money and hiring staff for recount efforts. Dayton currently leads by less than 9,000 votes.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has announced that the gubernatorial recount will begin on November 29.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Republican Party and Republican candidate Tom Emmer’s campaign have filed suit against two counties, alleging they were too slow in providing election information.

Republican candidate Tom Emmer, who trails Democrat Mark Dayton by 8,700 votes, has filed a complaint in state Supreme Court.  Emmer is requesting an injunction ordering counties to determine if too many ballots were cast in some precincts.

The Minnesota Canvassing Board has ordered a recount in the gubernatorial race.  The Canvassing Board has certified Mark Dayton’s 8,770 vote lead over Tom Emmer (R).

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Former Governor John Kitzhaber (D) trails former NBA player Chris Dudley (R) by just over 14,000 votes.

Kitzhaber has officially won the governor’s race.  He was leading with 6,000 votes when the race was called around 6:30 Wednesday night.

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In the 8th Congressional District, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D) declared victory on Friday evening.

In the 7th District, Congressman Raul Grijalva (D) appears to be victorious over challenger Ruth McClung (R).

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In the 11th Congressional District, incumbent Congressman Jerry McNerney (D) increased his lead over challenger David Harmer (R).  The race is still too close to call.

Harmer is now raising money for a recount.  Congressman McNerney leads Harmer by just over 400 votes.

In the 20th Congressional District, Republican Andy Vidak’s lead has narrowed.  Congressman Jim Costa (D) now trails his challenger by 145 votes.

After Alameda County reported results, Congressman Jerry McNerney (D) has more than quadrupled his lead over Republican challenger David Harmer.  McNerney declared victory on Wednesday.

Incumbent Jim Costa (D) has taken the lead in the race to represent California’s 20th Congressional District.  Costa now leads Republican Andy Vidak by a little over a thousand votes.

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D) has declared victory, but his opponent, David Harmer, has not yet conceded.  Votes are still being counted.

In the 11th Congressional District, Congressman Jerry McNerney (D) has declared victory, but his opponent, David Harmer has not yet conceded.  Nearly 8,000 provisional ballots remain to be counted

Counting continues in the 20th Congressional District where Congressman Jim Costa (D) retains a slight lead over Andy Vidak (R).

The latest vote tallies in the 20th Congressional District show incumbent Jim Costa (D) building his lead over challenger Andy Vidak (R).  Costa now leads Vidak by 2,442 votes.

Andy Vidak (R) has conceded to Congressman Jim Costa (D) in the 20th Congressional District.  Election officials reported that Costa led Vidak by a little over 3,000 votes with only 1,000 votes that remained to be counted.

In the 11th Congressional District, Congressman Jerry McNerney’s lead grew to 2,475 votes over challenger David Harmer (R) after San Joaquin County released its vote tally.  Provisional ballots are still being processed in Contra Cosa County where the County Clerk has estimated there are 3,000 votes left to be counted for the 11th Congressional District race.

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Counting will continue into next week in Illinois’ 8th Congressional District.  Republican challenger Joe Walsh now leads Democratic Congressman Melissa Bean by 350 votes.

In the last count in Illinois’ 8th Congressional District, incumbent Melissa Bean (D) trailed her Republican opponent, Joe Walsh, by less than 400 votes.  She hopes to pick up votes when absentee and provisional ballots are tallied.

Election officials are expected to announce final tallies on Tuesday.

After the completion of vote counting in Illinois’ 8th Congressional District, Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D) has conceded to Republican Joe Walsh.

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In the 6th Congressional District, Andy Barr (R) is seeking to recanvass the district.  Current vote tallies show incumbent Ben Chandler (D) leading by just over 600 votes.

Following a recanvass in the 6th Congressional District, Andy Barr (R) has picked up just one vote.  Election officials have certified incumbent Ben Chandler (D) as the winner.

On Friday, Andy Barr (R) conceded defeat to Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler of Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

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Ed Martin (R) is challenging incumbent Russ Carnahan’s (D) victory in Missouri’s 3rd district. Martin called for an investigation into three questions from election day and asked the Secretary of State, who happens to be Carnahan’s sister, to recuse herself and appoint a special investigator.

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New York

Congressman Tim Bishop (D) is alleging vote count mistakes and requesting a recount in New York’s 1st Congressional District. Bishop currently trails Republican challenger Randy Altschuler.

Politico reports that in New York’s 25th Congressional District, a judge has ruled to allow campaigns to inspect the 11,000 absentee ballots from this election. County election officials say that if they do a manual recount, the process may last until December. Currently, Ann Marie Buerkle (R) leads Congressman Dan Matthei (D) by less than 700 votes.

Election officials in New York’s 25th Congressional District have begun counting absentee ballots.  Currently, Ann Marie Buerkle (R) leads Congressman Dan Maffei (D) by less than 700 votes.

Results in the race to represent New York’s 25th Congressional District may not be available for several weeks.  Currently, Ann Marie Buerkle (R) leads Congressman Dan Maffei (D) by less than 700 votes.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has sent out a fundraising appeal on behalf of Congressmen Dan Maffei and Tim Bishop, whose races remain too close to call.  Both congressmen currently trail their opponents.

Election officials and campaign lawyers continue to count absentee ballots in the 25th Congressional District.  Ann Marie Buerkle (R) leads incumbent Dan Maffei (D) by over 700 votes.

In the 1st Congressional District, election officials have begun to count absentee ballots.  After the first day of counting, Congressman Tim Bishop (D) trails Randy Altschuler (R) by 383 votes.  Bishop has not yet asked for a manual recount.

Election officials and campaign lawyers continue to count absentee ballots in the 25th Congressional District.  On Wednesday, Ann Marie Buerkle (R) has expanded her lead over incumbent Dan Maffei (D) by 95 votes.  Buerkle now leads Maffei by 642 votes.

In the 1st Congressional District, election officials continue to count absentee ballots.  Congressman Tim Bishop (D) added 73 votes to his tally.  Bishop now trails Randy Altschuler (R) by 283 votes.

Election officials and campaign lawyers continue to count absentee ballots in the 25th Congressional District.  On Wednesday, Ann Marie Buerkle’s (R) campaign announced that the district is “approaching a mathematical certainty” that Buerkle will be elected.

Election officials in New York’s 1st Congressional District completed their third day of counting absentee ballots.  After counting on Thursday, Congressman Tim Bishop’s (D) campaign announced that Randy Altschuler’s (R) lead has shrunk to 138 votes.

Election officials and campaign lawyers continue to count absentee ballots in the 25th Congressional District.  Congressman Dan Maffei picked up votes to narrow Ann Marie Burkle’s (R) lead to 259 votes.   Absentee ballots from Wayne County are not yet available.  Buerkle won the county overwhelmingly on Election Day.

The race in New York’s 1st Congressional District continues to tighten as absentee ballots are counted.  After trailing Randy Altschuler (R) for over three weeks, Congressman Tim Bishop (D) now leads Altschuler by 15 votes.  Election officials report that counting should be completed by Wednesday.

Congressman Dan Maffei (D) conceded to Ann Marie Buerkle (R) on Tuesday.  The latest vote count shows Buerkle clinching the race by 561 votes.

Congressman Tim Bishop’s (D) campaign is reporting that he holds a lead of 234 votes.  Both Bishop’s and challenger Randy Altschuler’s (R) campaigns will appear in court on November 30 to challenge absentee ballots.  Altschuler has challenged 471 more ballots than Bishop has.

The race in New York’s First Congressional District might drag on for weeks as bipartisan election commission meets to decide the outcome of 2,000 contested votes.  Congressman Tim Bishop (D) currently holds a lead of 221 votes over Randy Altschuler (R).

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North Carolina

Renee Ellmers (R) has declared victory over incumbent Bob Etheridge (D) in the 2nd Congressional District. Etheridge has not conceded and is requesting a recount.

In the 2nd Congressional District, The Fayetteville Observer reports that Congressman Bob Etheridge (D) is likely to be granted a recount.  Etheridge currently trails Renee Ellmers (R).

The recount in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District will begin on Wednesday.  Challenger Renee Ellmers (R) leads COngressman Bob Etheridge (D) by 1,489 votes

The recount in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District began on Wednesday.  Renee Ellmers (R) currently leads incumbent Bob Etheridge (D) by 1,500 votes.

The recount continues in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District where challenge Renee Ellmers (R) currently leads incumbent Bob Etheridge (D).  Election officials estimate the count will be completed to Friday.

Congressman Bob Etheridge (D) conceded to Renee Ellmers (R) after election officials completed the district wide recount showing Ellmers with a 1,489 vote lead.

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Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D) is asking for a manual recount in the 27th Congressional District. Ortiz currently trails Republican challenger Blake Farenthold by almost 800 votes.

On Thursday, election officials in Nueces County found a bag of uncounted votes.

Election officials in Texas’s 27th Congressional District have asked Congressman Solomon Ortiz to amend his request for recount.

Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D) is raising money for his recount effort in the 27th Congressional District.  Ortiz currently trails Republican challenger Blake Farenthold.

After two more counties in the 27th Congressional District have completed manual recounts, incumbent Solomon Ortiz (D) still trails Blake Farenthold (R) by 800 votes.

The recount continues in the 27th Congressional District.  Blake Farenthold (R) remains ahead of Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D) by 800 votes.

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In Virginia’s 11th district, incumbent Gerry Connolly (D) is leading challenger Keith Fimian (R) by 941 votes. Connolly is now claiming victory over challenger Fimian.  The Washington Post reports that Fimian has not yet asked for a recount.

On November 9th, Republican Keith Fimian released a statement conceding defeat in the 11th Congressional District race against Rep. Gerald Connolly (D).

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1 Comment

  1. Wow, I had no idea there were that many across the country. Was this higher than usual or are there normally so many disputes?

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