No major changes in area counties' recountsWORTHINGTON — Six southwest Minnesota counties started — and finished on the same day — their required recounts for the still-unresolved Minnesota governor’s race.
By: Ryan McGaughey, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Six southwest Minnesota counties started — and finished on the same day — their required recounts for the still-unresolved Minnesota governor’s race.
Ashley Kurtz, deputy auditor/treasurer in Rock County, said the recount in her county was completed by 11:30 a.m. Monday.
“Everything came out good,” Kurtz said. “We had all our ballots accounted for.”
Kurtz said there was one Rock County ballot challenged by representatives of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Challenged ballots will be considered by the State Canvassing Board following the Dec. 7 conclusion of the recount.
Through Monday, DFL candidate for governor Mark Dayton had widened his lead over Emmer to 8,794 votes out of 2.1 million ballots cast. No Minnesota recount has ever reversed a deficit as large as the one Emmer faces.
In Cottonwood County, the recount efforts were wrapped up by 1 p.m. Monday, auditor/treasurer Jan Johnson said.
“The bottom line is Emmer stayed exactly the same,” Johnson said of the Republican’s vote total.
“Dayton lost one ballot, but there was one Dayton challenge. If they (state board) allow the challenge, we would have finished exactly the same.” Johnson said.
Johnson added that it appeared someone used pencil to mark an oval for Dayton, then made markings in or around another oval.
“It’s either a Dayton vote or an overvote, but the state will have to determine that,” Johnson said.
In Jackson County, Dayton picked up two votes and Emmer lost one as a result of Monday’s recount. The county was off its Election Day count by three ballots.
“There were three challenged ballots,” Kevin Nordquist, the county’s auditor/treasurer, said. “One was challenged by both parties … and one was a frivolous challenge.”
Frivolous challenges are those that are dismissed as without merit, yet still could be re-examined by the State Canvassing Board.
The recount in Murray County was done by 3 p.m. Monday, according to auditor/treasurer Heidi Winter.
“There was one challenged ballot; it was challenged by Dayton,” Winter said. “There was one change in favor of Dayton and one change against Dayton.”
The one challenged ballot was originally ruled as an overvote, Winter said. Dayton representatives maintain it was cast in support of their candidate.
Vote totals in Nobles County were confirmed Monday to be the same as those from Nov. 2. The Emmer campaign did challenge one ballot.