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Washington County begins recount, should be done in four days

It has begun.

Washington County joined with counties across the state to begin the process of hand counting the votes cast in the recent Minnesota U.S. Senate election.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday eight recount teams of county and city employees and hired election judges assembled in the county board room at the Washington County Government Center in Stillwater.

Counting teams consist of a reader, who is clerk from one of the several cities volunteering staff to help with the recount, and counters for each of the candidates on the ballot.

The county hired election judges to serve as ballot counters in each team, said Kevin Corbid, director of the county's property records and taxpayer services.

"This is certainly a big undertaking and I appreciate the help we are getting from our cities," Corbid said Tuesday at the Washington County Board meeting. "There is no way my department alone could handle this task."

Corbid said he expects the recount in Washington County to be completed within three or four days. But official results could take longer, as votes challenged by representatives of the respective Franken and Coleman campaigns will be collected, sealed, and delivered to the state canvassing board for further deliberation.

Last week a state canvassing board solidified the results tallied Nov. 4 that showed Republican Sen. Norm Coleman with a 215-vote lead over DFL challenger Al Franken.

Due to the likelihood that the state canvassing board will have many challenged votes to evaluate, the Secretary of State's office has said the outcome of the recount may not be decided until mid-December.

In the meantime, Corbid said that as Washington County's recount teams work their way through each of the county's 90 precincts, results of the recount will be posted on the county website.

Updates on the recounted results by precincts, along with detailed information on any vote changes and challenged votes in each precinct will be uploaded by election officials to the county website twice at day, at noon and at the end of the workday, Corbid said.

"While I expect the recount process to be very intense especially in the beginning, I also expect the process to be run smoothly," he said.

For up-to-date recount results in Washington County go to: and click on "U.S. Senate Recount Results - Most recent information."