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Taylor wants cost of recount postponed

November 14, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. asked a judge Wednesday to postpone charging him for the cost of a vote recount.

A hearing on his request is set for today in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis.

Candidates seeking recounts are required to post a bond to cover the administrative costs of the task.

"Given the undeniable closeness of the election and the public interest in this matter, Speaker Taylor respectfully requests that the court set the amount of any bond at zero dollars or, alternatively, that the bond be of a minimal amount," the petition states.

Republican LeRoy E. Myers Jr., who holds a 71-vote lead over Taylor, said he doesn't think it would be fair to exempt Taylor from posting a bond.

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"If anyone should want to follow the rules, it should be the speaker of the House," Myers said.

If a judge grants the request, Taylor would still have to pay for the cost of the recount unless it overturns the election or if Myers' margin of victory is reduced to within one-tenth of one percent of the votes cast, said his lawyer, Ralph Tyler of Baltimore.

Right now, the margin is six-tenths of a percent of the 11,219 votes counted. Those numbers could change after Friday when a handful of overseas and provisional ballots are counted.

Taylor plans to ask for a recount of all District 1C precincts in Allegany and Washington counties soon in order to move the process along as quickly as possible, Tyler said.

The method of the recount, whether it be electronic or a hand count, has not been decided, he said.

When contacted by phone Wednesday, Taylor said the recount results should be available either the day before or the day after Thanksgiving. He had no further comment on the election results.

"When this whole process is finished, I will be making a public statement," he said.

Myers, meanwhile, is making plans to assume the House of Delegates seat in January.

On Tuesday, he met with other members of the House Republican Caucus in Annapolis. On Wednesday, he spoke to teenagers in a government class at Cedar Ridge school in Williamsport.

"I wish this thing was over. I'm just so excited to get things going," Myers said.

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