vote_lede_template.jpgA group that had proposed a recount in San Francisco’s extremely close District 7 supervisorial race withdrew its request on Monday, citing the high cost of going forward with the process.

An independent expenditure committee backing labor leader and former port commissioner F.X. Crowley had made the request last week after Crowley lost the race to board of education president Norman Yee by just 132 votes.

Yee finished with 12,505 votes compared to 12,373 for Crowley after six rounds of ranked-choice voting in the nine-candidate race.

Backers of a recount are required to pay the daily costs of the process and would not be reimbursed if the final result did not change.

Department of Elections director John Arntz told the backers that a machine recount would cost $62,416 and a manual recount would cost $69,433.

Political consultant Jim Stearns, a member of the independent expenditure committee, said today that those costs were simply too high.

“We felt the election was close enough to merit a second count, especially with the idiosyncrasies of ranked-choice voting and multiple possible errors on each ballot, but the cost was far too expensive for the groups that were backing F.X.,” Stearns said.

The group sent a formal letter to Arntz on Monday withdrawing its request.

The letter also urged San Francisco to change the rules for a recount so that the city would pay for a recount in a race decided by a certain margin, and to ease restrictions that only allow donors to each pay $100 toward a recount effort.

Crowley’s political consultant Alex Tourk had issued a statement last week distancing Crowley from the recount effort, saying he “has decided not to task his generous contributors towards financing an official recount.”

The decision not to seek a recount means that Yee will take office in early January, replacing termed-out Supervisor Sean Elsbernd.

District 7, located in the southwestern part of the city, includes the West Portal and Parkmerced neighborhoods as well as areas near Lake Merced, San Francisco State University and west of Twin Peaks.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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