It looks like voters have returned Rob Sand to the State Auditor’s office, after the last outstanding county reported its results today. Sand now holds a 2,614-vote lead over Republican opponent Todd Halbur, a margin that–while close–ought to be enough to withstand any additions from provisional ballots or other issues.
The margin is close enough for Halbur to request a recount. However, barring some unknown issue, Iowa recounts typically do not change vote totals enough to change a statewide lead of that number.
Des Moines County turned in its completed numbers after an administrative recount of absentee ballots this afternoon, increasing Sand’s lead by 448 votes.
Sand would be Democrats’ last man standing in statewide elected office following the defeats of longtime incumbents Attorney General Tom Miller and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.
For much of Tuesday night, Sand trailed Halbur in the results, with some observers and Republicans believing he too had lost reelection in Iowa’s isolated red wave. But Linn County did not finish and submit its count until the very early morning hours of Wednesday. Once they did, Sand regained the lead with a 3,169 margin.
An overcounting error in Linn County was caught and fixed on Thursday, bringing Sand down to a 2,869 advantage.
Then Warren County, which also didn’t fully report on Election Day, completed its own administrative recount this afternoon. That brought Sand’s lead down to 2,169, until the Des Moines County total boosted it back up to 2,614.
by Pat Rynard
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