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December 08, 2008

Carmouche unlikely to ask for recount

The campaign of Democrat Paul Carmouche said Monday that it was unlikely that the Congressional candidate would call for a recount, all-but-ensuring that Republican John Fleming will become the next congressman from Louisiana's Fourth District.

Carmouche spokesman Bert Kaufman said his boss wasn't planning to seek a recount, and is simply waiting for the vote to be certified.  Without a recount, it appears certain that Fleming will prevail.

Carmouche trails Republican businessman John Fleming by 356 votes out of 92,558 cast, with a tiny number of provisional ballots left to be counted. The winner will succeed GOP Rep. Jim McCrery.

Carmouche has not yet conceded and is waiting for the provisional ballots to complete the final tally. Louisiana Secretary of State spokesman Jacques Berry estimated there were about 50 provisional ballots left, far less than the number needed to overturn Fleming’s lead.

A recount would be unlikely to change many votes since Louisiana’s elections are conducted by electronic voting machines — meaning only mail-in ballots and provisional ballots, a very small proportion of the ballots cast, would be examined.

A recount would have to be requested by the Carmouche campaign. Carmouche would have to foot the bill for its cost.

Assuming Fleming holds on to the lead, Louisiana will have an exceptionally junior House delegation — the most senior member is GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander, who was first elected in 2002. Republicans will control all but one of the seven House seats, with Rep. Charlie Melancon as the sole Democrat left.