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House District 15 candidate Paul Renner talks with supporters Tuesday night. He and Jay Fant finished the night three votes apart, requiring a recount.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Aug. 27, 201412:00 PM EST

Recount for Fant, Renner in House District 15 after 3-vote margin

by: David Chapman

Three votes.

That’s the margin that separated Republicans Jay Fant and Paul Renner in the race for State House District 15 after polls closed and ballots were counted Tuesday evening.

With 11,891 votes counted, businessman Fant led attorney Renner in what basically is a dead heat. Fant has 5,947 votes to Renner’s 5,944, the race headlining local elections Tuesday after a heated advertising campaign for the candidates.

With such a slim margin, the race heads to a recount this morning starting at 9 a.m. at One Imeson, the elections office warehouse facility in North Jacksonville.

State law requires a machine recount should a margin of victory be within 0.5 percent, with a hand recount triggered at 0.25 percent or under. With all precincts reporting, early voting and mailed ballots counted, the margin is 0.02 — Fant is at 50.01 percent to Renner’s 49.99 percent.

Holland said ballots triggered as “under votes” also will be examined to ensure intent is clear. An example of such a vote would be one where a mark is made too light.

Holland said he had been in touch Tuesday night with both state House candidates to explain the next step in the process, with both indicating they would be in attendance for the recount this morning.

Neither camp was available for comment Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

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