Both Gov. Don Siegelman and Cong. Bob Riley declared victory after an extremely tight race, but a vote total discrepancy in Baldwin County put the outcome in doubt. It was originally reported that Siegelman received 19,070 votes in Baldwin County. Later, that number was reduced to 12,736.
"After two recounts when the poll watchers were present and the appropriate election officials for Baldwin County were present we had a different vote total that had my vote total up several thousand votes," said Siegelman. "After midnight, after the poll watchers were sent home with none of the people present who are required to be present under the law, a different and a lower vote total was established for me."
Baldwin County officials have now verified the lower number of Siegelman votes, citing a software glitch that was later corrected. Riley said the official results make him the winner by just over 3,000 votes statewide.
"These votes are cast, these votes have been tallied, these votes have been published and again the only thing that was wrong last night," said Riley. "And I know this hard for you to believe, especially the members on the press. This was not an accounting error. This was a reporting error by the media."
Both sides have sent lawyers and supporters to courthouses statewide to recheck numbers, including photographing election tallies that were posted at courthouses.
Alabama does not have a law providing for an automatic recount in tight races. Instead, a voter can seek a recount with each county canvassing board, but it requires putting up a security bond.
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