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District 8B recount starts Thursday

Published 11:14am Tuesday, November 27, 2012

District 8B Republican Representative Mary Franson leads Democratic challenger Bob Cunniff by only 11 votes, but that could change this week as a hand recount is slated for 9 a.m. Thursday.

Thirty-seven precincts with a total of 9,133 ballots from eastern Otter Tail County will be among the votes recounted. The recount will be conducted by 24 people at eight tables in the Otter Tail County Courthouse. About 12,694 ballots will be recounted in Douglas County. Ballots will be sorted and placed into piles where they are recounted and stacked into smaller piles before the ballots can be challenged by representatives from either party, said Otter Tail County Auditor Wayne Stein.

A recount for the governor’s race was held two years ago, and fewer than 12 votes were challenged. Other than the challenged votes, the hand recount showed the same numbers as the initial count, and that recount covered all of Otter Tail County with almost twice as many ballets as the upcoming recount will cover, Stein said. With eight teams of recounters, Stein said he expects the recount to be completed and the information to go public by Thursday evening.

Early counts showed only a one vote difference between the two candidates after 21,303 votes were counted. When an error was discovered in Douglas County, 35 ballets were randomly discarded from the mix, giving Franson an 11-vote lead.

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