updated 11/23/2005 12:25:36 AM ET 2005-11-23T05:25:36

Challenger Freman Hendrix on Tuesday announced he will ask for a hand recount of votes from the Detroit mayoral election, which he lost earlier this month to incumbent Kwame Kilpatrick.

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Hendrix said he wants the recount partly because of problems in getting results from some precincts after the polls closed and changes between initial and final vote totals.

“It may be tempting for some to dismiss this as a complaint from a sore loser,” Hendrix said at a news conference. “But there has been enough evidence ... to raise legitimate questions about how the election was conducted and how the ballots were counted.”

Arthur Blackwell II, the mayor’s chief campaign strategist, said that with more than 14,500 votes separating the candidates, a recount likely would not change the outcome.

“This is sour grapes,” Blackwell said. “This is not really in the city’s best interests.

Hendrix announced his decision the same day the city’s Board of Canvassers certified the Nov. 8 vote. Kilpatrick received 123,140 votes, or 53 percent, to 108,600 votes, or 47 percent, for Hendrix.

Unofficial totals earlier had Kilpatrick with 123,067 votes, or 53 percent, to Hendrix’s 108,539 votes, or 47 percent.

The recount request, which goes to the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, comes as Detroit is facing a budget deficit that’s estimated to grow to as much as $300 million by next year. Kilpatrick spokesman Howard Hughey said the recount could cost the city nearly $600,000.

Following the vote, officials reported that at 17 of the city’s 720 precincts test votes weren’t cleared from tabulating machines before actual votes were cast, leading to some changes in the totals.

And eight precincts weren’t included in the initial vote counts because information from computer data packs containing voting results wasn’t properly delivered to the Detroit city clerk’s office, state elections officials have said.

In one example given Tuesday, Hendrix said that when information from the missing data packs — containing about 2,300 votes in the mayor’s race — was added to overall results, the vote totals jumped by more than 8,500 votes.

On Election Day, the U.S. Justice Department obtained an order for the secretary of state to preserve absentee ballots and related materials from the mayor’s race.

The department said it was investigating allegations that votes were cast using the names of dead people and that the city clerk improperly helped incapacitated people vote by absentee ballot.

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