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DECISION 2000 / AMERICA WAITS

Senate Control Hinges on Recount

November 28, 2000|From Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A recount began Monday in the closest Senate race in the country, with the outcome determining whether the chamber will be split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats for the first time in a century.

In totals released last week, Democrat Maria Cantwell, a dot-com millionaire, apparently defeated Republican Sen. Slade Gorton by 1,953 votes, or 0.08% of the 2.4 million ballots cast.

Under Washington law, a recount is automatic when an election margin is less than 0.5%. The recount, which is expected to take about a week, is not expected to stir debate over dimpled ballots and hanging chads. The ballots will simply be run through the machines again.

Recounts also were requested or are underway in congressional races:

* In New Jersey , a recount began Monday, with Republican challenger Dick Zimmer hoping to reverse his narrow loss to Democratic Rep. Rush Holt. Zimmer lost by 653 votes out of more than 291,000 cast.

* Michigan state Sen. Dianne Byrum has asked for a recount in the race against Republican Mike Rogers, who won by an unofficial 152 votes out of nearly 300,000 cast.

* Democratic Rep. David Minge of Minnesota said he will seek a recount after being ousted by Republican Mark Kennedy by 150 votes.

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