After poll workers ran more than 26,000 ballots through voting machines Monday, the recount of Statewide Amendment No. 1 showed the measure picking up two ‘yes’ votes and losing one ‘no’ vote locally.

The correction is not enough to change the overall count in Cullman by a single percentage point, leaving the final tally at 55 percent voting no, 21 percent voting yes and 35 percent not voting.

With 27 poll workers conducting the recount, it cost to the state an estimated at $2,100 for Cullman’s recount. According to Probate Judge Betty Brewer, that has probate judges across the state complaining about the cost of recounting the doomed Amendment.

“This was the biggest waste of money,” she said Monday. “The Legislature needs to do something about it.”

In accordance with a 2003 state law implemented by Gov. Bob Riley, Amendment 1 was recounted in all 67 Alabama counties Monday. The law states if any race fails by less than 0.5 percent statewide, the item must be recounted.

On a statewide level, Amendment 1 failed by a margin of 0.36 percent in November. Despite the small percentage margin, Brewer said it is unlikely the Amendment picked up the 2,891 votes it needed to pass Monday.

Final statewide recount numbers will not be available until later in the week.

“I just keep thinking about the cost in big counties like Jefferson,” Brewer said. “A lot of these probate judges are so mad they can’t hardly stand it.”

In addition, Brewer complained Amendment should never have been placed on the state ballot to begin with since it only affected the 27,963 people living in the city of Prichard.

Designed to help create a special tax district in Prichard, the Amendment was really just local legislation, said Rep. Jeremy Oden, R-Vinemont, in a previous interview.

“Really and truly, it only affected the people that live there,” he said, “but if just one person votes against it, it has to go before the people.”

According to the state’s 105-year-old Constitution, authorities for a number of local matters reside with the Legislature. Even then, for the matter to be approved by the Legislature without a statewide vote, it must pass unanimously in both the House and the Senate.

According to Oden, local legislation like Amendment 1 tends to fail on a statewide vote though.

“Especially, if voters don’t know the issues,” he said. “That’s pretty well what happened here.”

While Amendment 1 passed by a margin of 18 percent in Mobile County, where Prichard is located, more than 814,000 people voted on it statewide, causing it to fail.

While Oden said he supports the recount law, which he said makes elections more fair, he also said he thinks the state’s 105-year-old constitution needs some tweaking to prevent future failures like Amendment 1.

Alabama’s recount law came about partially as a result of the 2002 gubernatorial election in which Gov. Bob Riley narrowly defeated incumbent Don Siegelman.

In that case, while initial counts showed Siegelman winning Baldwin County, poll workers cited a tabulation error and recounted the votes after Democratic observers had gone home. Though no Democratic observers were present for the recount, the new number was accepted, clinching the victory for Riley.

While Brewer complained about Monday’s recount, she said she had no problem with the recount for county schools superintendent, which cost the county an estimated $7,500.

“That involved people, and it was their right to have it recounted,” she said.

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