State House Race Recount Moves Quickly

By Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press

A state-ordered recount is zipping right along in the race between Minnesota House 8B candidates, Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, and Bob Cunniff, DFL-Alexandria.

The process began in Douglas County this morning, with Otter Tail County election officials to work on it Thursday.

In Douglas County, the recount was moving along swiftly, according to election officials and attorneys for the candidates. They predicted that the results should be available this afternoon. Only a couple of ballots had been challenged by mid-day.

After the election, Franson held a one-vote lead. It increased to 11 when 35 ballots were randomly discarded last week after over-votes were found in three Alexandria precincts.

The State Canvassing Board on Tuesday approved rules governing the House District 8B recount and a state Senate recount south of the Twin Cities. The rules follow those in effect for the 2008 U.S. Senate and 2010 governor elections.

Representatives of the candidates may challenge election officials’ decisions about who should get each ballot. The state canvassing board will decide who, if anyone, receives votes from challenged ballots during its Dec. 4 meeting.

In past recounts, a number of ballots were the subject of arguments about voter intent. Such ballots could determine the outcome of races as close as in House District 8B, but in Douglas County there were not enough challenges to affect the election.

Challenged ballots will be posted on the secretary of state’s Web site ( when available.