This November, 22 of the 57 U.S. House and Senate races Ballotpedia identified as battlegrounds are taking place in states where a close vote could automatically trigger a recount under state law.
An automatic recount occurs if election results meet certain criteria laid out in state law. The most common trigger for an automatic recount is when election results fall within a close vote margin.
The table below lists those battleground races alongside the most recent margin as well as the state’s close vote trigger.
For seven of the races listed below, an automatic recount is only triggered if the race ends in a tie. For the remaining fourteen races, a recount is triggered if the vote total falls within the given close vote margin.
Nationwide, there are twenty-three states where a close or tie vote could trigger an automatic recount. However, a close vote is not the only way a state might trigger an automatic recount. Four states—Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, and North Carolina—require an automatic recount if an error is discovered while tabulating the votes or while conducting a post-election procedure such as an audit of voting machines. The map below shows those states with policies requiring an automatic recount under certain circumstances.
- Vote margins required for election recounts, 2020
- U.S. House battlegrounds, 2020
- U.S. Senate battlegrounds, 2020