Election workers begin the mandatory recounting of votes

There is no doing things the easy way when it comes to elections.

The rules say that if the top finishers are closer in vote totals than 2 percent, a recount is required.

Regardless, Johnny Araya Monge of Liberación Nacional and Luís Guillermo Solís of Acción Ciudadana will be in the runoff April 6. Both are well above the third-place finisher.

Still, election workers are counting the ballots from 6,516 polling places during two four-hour shifts a day. The work has to be done within 30 days for the presidential vote and within 60 days for legislators.

Some of the five magistrates of the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones have to be present at all times, and representatives of the political parties also can be there.

There is no wiggle room for recounting the presidential vote.  But in the case of legislative elections, a recount requires a complaint or some inconsistency in the election materials of individual polling places.

If Araya and Solís finish close together in the runoff, which is possible, there will have to be another recount.

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