Statewide Adverstising

Three ballots challenged here in Senate recount

November 28th, 2008
HARD AT WORK - Election judge Paula Geisler of Green Isle (center) was busy separating ballots for the Senate candidates under the watchful eyes of Sen. Norm Coleman’s challenger Linda Larsen (left) and candidate Al Franken’s challenger Dan Conner (right). It took three, three-member election judge teams seven hours to recount the Senate race ballots Nov. 19. Three ballots were challenged here.

“We really feel, overall, that the recount went well. I’m grateful to be part of history-making,” Lisa Pfarr, Sibley County Auditor said.

Pfarr and her staff, along with three, three-member election judge teams from Arlington, Green Isle, and Winthrop, along with candidate representatives, participated in the state-wide recount of the U.S. Senate race Wednesday, Nov. 19. Sibley County’s recount was held in the courthouse annex basement.

The overall effect of the recount in Sibley County was that Democrat Al Franken lost two votes from the Nov. 4 general election. The recount totals were 3,498 votes for Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, while Democrat Al Franken had 2,156 votes.

Three ballots were challenged, one by the Franken representative and two by Coleman representatives. 7,765 ballots were hand counted in Sibley County. The process took about seven hours here.

In Alfsborg Township, one ballot pulled a vote from Coleman. In the City of Arlington, a challenge by the Coleman camp pulled a vote from Franken. In Henderson, there was a ballot challenged by Coleman, which pulled a vote from Franken. With Gaylord’s ballots, an undervote was found to be a true voter intent. A check mark was placed on the right of Franken’s name, which added one to the Franken count.

The puzzle for Pfarr and her staff, however, was a flip-flopped vote in Dryden Township. Pfarr said that the flip-flop was brought to her attention too late in the process, because the votes for the township had already been placed in a sealed envelope.

The three challenged ballots were placed in a separate envelope, that will be sent by courier to the Secretary of State’s Office. Deputy recount officials are scheduled to be done with their work Dec. 5. The State Canvassing Board will meet Dec. 16 and rule on the challenged ballots and determine a winner in the Senate election.

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