City recount

Glenn Trowbridge, who served for more than 20 years as director of the Clark County Parks and Rec Department, this month lost his bid to become Las Vegas’ newest City Council member by a mere 10 votes.

Mr. Trowbridge lost to Stravros Anthony, a Metro police captain and university system regent, 3,309 votes to 3,299.

On Thursday, Mr. Trowbridge, 65, handed in a letter requesting a recount — with a check for $800 to pay for it.

Under state law, the recount will begin with a hand count of four precincts chosen by Mr. Trowbridge. If the results differ from the official results by more than 1 percent, all of the votes cast in the Ward 4 City Council race will then be recounted by hand.

That’s fine. Although the city has no automatic trigger requiring a recount in close races, Mr. Trowbridge has the right to seek the recount as long as he’s willing to pay for it.

But Mr. Trowbridge on Thursday proceeded to wade into far murkier waters, vowing he won’t concede the Ward 4 seat even if the recount results come back identical to those on election night. Why? Because he’s still troubled by 18 uncounted mail-in ballots delivered after the polls closed. City officials have said those ballots, picked up June 3 from a mailbox into which ballots are deposited, came in too late and were thus invalid.

“I feel very strongly that everyone’s vote counts,” Mr. Trowbridge said.

But some mail-in ballots arrive too late in every election. Mail-in voters are responsible to make sure they mail in time.

As a pragmatic matter, Mr. Trowbridge would have to see the late ballots break 14-4 in his favor to affect the outcome. But that’s not the point.

Of course the city must count the votes of everyone who managed to cast a legal ballot in a timely matter. But if the firm deadline is ignored, what next? Candidates in close races rustling up supporters who didn’t bother to go to the polls, driving them to the post office by dawn on Wednesday to see who can produce more “next-day” mail-ins? Close elections would almost literally never end.

Mr. Trowbridge will get his recount. However it turns out, he should have the good grace to accept the results.

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