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Recount shows minor changes in Washington County

Washington County election officials participate in the statewide recount of votes in the governor's race. Jon Avise photo.

Washington County election officials on Wednesday wrapped up their work in the statewide governor's race recount.

Election workers around noon completed the hand recount of the votes for governor on 103,725 ballots, said Kevin Corbid, the county's director of property records and taxpayer services.

In the recount, which started Monday, Republican Tom Emmer gained an additional four votes in Washington County when compared to the election night totals, Corbid said. The recount showed Democrat Mark Dayton lost 17 votes, but the results do not take into account 40 ballots that were challenged by campaign workers.

Those challenged ballots will be forwarded to the State Canvassing Board, but Corbid said he estimated that 23 or 25 of those would be ruled as votes for Dayton, potentially giving the Democrat a net gain of around a half-dozen votes. Corbid did not believe any of the remaining challenged ballots would be considered votes for Emmer, but said the State Canvassing Board will decide.

"I think on most of them the voter intent is very clear and will take very little time to be ruled on by the canvassing board," Corbid said.

There also were four ballot challenges deemed "frivolous" by election workers. All of those challenges came from Emmer recount observers, Corbid said. Those votes were included in the recount tally, but the ballots were set aside for possible State Canvassing Board review.

The recount totals showed that Emmer received 49,145 votes in Washington County, while Dayton had 40,115 votes, Corbid said. That total excludes the 40 challenged ballots.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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