There will be a recount in the House district 8B race between Mary Franson and Bob Cunniff
by Tony Petrangelo
Nov 19, 2012, 7:00 AM

Mary Franson – Bob Cunniff outcome even less certain now

The unofficial results of the November 6th elections currently have avatar of mumpsimus Mary Franson clinging to a one vote lead over challenger Bob Cunniff in the Minnesota House district 8B race. As I discussed previously, a one vote lead is a tenuous position to be in with a recount looming.

Well, that analysis may all be moot now:

The linked image contains the following from Charlene Rosenow, the Douglas County Auditor/Treasurer:

The Douglas County Canvassing Board convened today and publically canvassed the 2012 general election returns by reviewing the abstract and write-in reports provided by the Douglas County Auditor. Following the review, the Board determined, by majority vote, that the election judges had made an obvious error in counting or recording votes as more fully set forth in the attached Report of Obvious Errors. In sum, it is apparent that some voters were given the wrong ballots at shared polling locations.

Before I get any further, I need to point out how completely awesome the name Report of Obvious Errors is. It reminds me of something out of a Terry Gilliam movie.

Anyway, the obvious errors in question appear to be voters in districts other than 8B, who were given an 8B ballot, 32 35 of them in all.

As for what happens now, here’s the link to the relevant Minnesota Statute (again, courtesy of Aaron Ley):

If the number of ballots in one box exceeds the number to be counted, the election judges shall examine all the ballots in the box to ascertain that all are properly marked with the initials of the election judges. If any ballots are not properly marked with the initials of the election judges, the election judges shall preserve but not count them; however, if the number of ballots does not exceed the number to be counted, the absence of either or both sets of initials of the election judges does not, by itself, disqualify the vote from being counted and must not be the basis of a challenge in a recount. If there is still an excess of properly marked ballots, the election judges shall replace them in the box, and one election judge, without looking, shall withdraw from the box a number of ballots equal to the excess. The withdrawn ballots shall not be counted but shall be preserved as provided in subdivision 4.

In short, 35 ballots will be randomly pulled out of the pool of all the ballots all the Douglas County ballots prior to the results being certified. This means that there’s a pretty good chance the final margin will not be one vote after certification.

Going back to the link at the beginning of this post, the Douglas County Canvassing Board will meet again on Wednesday the 21st to do the after the fact reconciliation, that is unless one of the two candidates gets a court to step in.

[h/t Bluestem Prairie for above correction]

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