Votes counted in a post-election review of two Rice County precincts Tuesday matched the machine count from earlier this month.
The review, required by Minnesota statutes after every general election, this year looked at the races for Minnesota governor and U.S. Congress. The two precincts, Morristown City and Northfield Township Precinct 2, were selected at random during the Nov. 14 Canvassing Board meeting.
The process was overseen by Property Tax and Elections Director Denise Anderson and Assistant Property Tax and Elections Director Jody Wagner.
In explaining the processes for the public review, Anderson noted that the manual recount, done by hand, is an audit to determine if the accuracy of the voting system meets the defined standard. The process, while straightforward, is specific and requires ballots secured following the Nov. 8 election to be unsealed for counting and resealed when the review is complete.
Ballots for each of the precincts – including absentee ballots cast by residents of the two precincts -- were delivered to the respective clerk, who along with two of that precinct’s election judges began counting, first the total number of ballots cast (absentee and on Election Day), then by candidate in each race. Judges for each precinct were from differing parties and all counts were done twice by a second individual to further ensure accuracy.
In every case, the counts were an exact match to the machine counts reported to the Secretary of State after polls closed Nov. 8.
Review results certified by the respective clerk and appropriate election judges will be forwarded to the Secretary of State who will report them to the State Canvassing Board. That board meeting is set for 1 p.m. Nov. 29 at the State Office Building in St. Paul.
Denise Anderson, Rice County Property Tax and Elections Director
Suzy Rook. Communications Coordinator