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Recount plan approved for House District 5A

Fourth Judicial District Chief Judge Ivy S. Bernhardson asks a question of State Elections Director Gary Poser Tuesday as he presents the canvassing report for the Nov. 6 general election to the State Canvassing Board. Photo by Paul Battaglia

Plans are set for a publicly-funded recount in a closely-contested race for a northern Minnesota House seat.

The State Canvassing Board on Tuesday approved a recount plan for House District 5A, where former Rep. John Persell, a Bemidji DFLer, appeared to unseat the current incumbent, Rep. Matt Bliss (R-Pennington), by a slim eight-vote margin Nov. 6.

2018 State Canvassing Board 11/27/18

All of the district’s ballots will to be transported to Beltrami County, under the plan. There, election officials will oversee a full recount on Dec. 3 of the 16,903 ballots cast in the race.

[WATCH Full video of the meeting on YouTube]

The canvassing board also certified the results of the 2018 General Election, including state and judicial offices; two U.S. Senate races; and eight U.S. House of Representatives races.

More than 2.6 million Minnesotans, among roughly 4 million eligible voters, cast ballots in this November’s election, said Gary Poser, elections director for the Secretary of State’s Office. That nearly equaled the 2.9 million votes cast in the 2016 election, and far surpassed the 1.9 million who voted in the last mid-term election in 2014.

The canvassing board is next scheduled to meet Dec. 17 to receive the House District 5A recount report.


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