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County's ballots headed to Madison for recount

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

Stevens County's recount of the Minnesota gubernatorial election will be done in Madison and in conjunction with two other counties.

The Nov. 29 recount was ordered after DFL candidate Mark Dayton finished about 8,700 votes ahead of GOP candidate Tom Emmer in the Nov. 2 general election.

Stevens, Yellow Medicine and Lac Qui Parle counties will have their ballots counted at the Lac Qui Parle County Annex on Nov. 29.

Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer Neil Wiese said the state suggested combining the counties because of the number of ballots cast. A total of 12,130 ballots were cast in the three counties for governor. By comparison, Douglas County will recount 15,561 ballots in the gubernatorial race.

Stevens County voters cast 4,388 ballots in the governors race. Lac Qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties cast 3,598 and 4,144 ballots, respectively.

Emmer narrowly edged Dayton in Stevens County, 1,942 to 1932 for Dayton. Dayton won Lac Qui Parle County 1,618 to 1,391 for Emmer, but Emmer also outpolled Dayton in Yellow Medicine, 1,830 to 1,647.

Lori Boots, who works in the Stevens County Treasurers office, and two county election judges -- Nancy Sparby and Gloria Viratyosin -- who volunteered their services will be in Madison for the recount. The state also will have at least two representatives there, Wiese said.

The recount probably could be finished by the evening of Nov. 29, Wiese said.

The ballots are currently kept locked up and a surveillance camera has been installed to allow officials to monitor the room, he said.

Wiese added that he didn't believe there would be any changes in the county's vote totals through the recount. County officials' post-election review of two races, one of which was the governors race, showed that election night totals were correct, he said.