• Poll workers plan to finish the count today
  • With two extremely close races, a recount is certainly possible
  • Election Commissioners meet at 5 p.m. in hopes of finalizing results

While the rest of the nation pivots from the Nov. 3 election, moving on to audits or acceptance, Pulaski County still awaits final vote counts.

A couple dozen poll workers met in the warehouse-like workspace at the back of the Pulaski County Election Commission office Friday to go through the remaining boxes of uncounted ballots. Their goal: pull out the 1,108 provisional in-person ballots cleared for counting, along with the 229 ballots still up for consideration pending more information from the Pulaski County clerk’s office.

Election Commissioners plan to meet at 5 p.m. today to finalize the totals. That may very well be the end of it, excepting the official certification required by law on or before Nov. 18.

But with two Arkansas House races so close, a recount could be on the way.

In West Little Rock’s District 32, incumbent Republican Jim Sorvillo led Democratic challenger Ashley Hudson by 44 at the last count. In District 38, which covers parts of North Little Rock and Sherwood, incumbent Republican Carlton Wing led Democratic challenger Matthew Stallings by 55 at the last count.

If any candidates want a recount, they will have to act fast to meet the Nov. 18 deadline. And a recount would be a significant undertaking, since a recount would encompass the entire county. The ballots are not divided into any geographical categorization.

The cost of a recount theoretically falls on the candidate requesting it. Statute caps the total cost at $2,500, far below the actual price tag of bringing in the 80-100 poll workers Pulaski Election Director Bryan Poe said would be needed to do the job.

The final count will unavoidably include 327 ballots that were marked for rejecting but then inadvertently fed through the counter. Those ballots lack any identifying information, so there’s no way to pull them out of the final count.