Recount planned in? District 12 Senate raceA recount is in the works for the District 12 Senate race between John Grabinger and incumbent Dave Nething. Actions of the canvassing board Monday added six votes to Grabinger and eight to Nething for totals of 2,971 votes for Grabinger to 2,983 votes for Nething.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Sun
A recount is in the works for the District 12 Senate race between John Grabinger and incumbent Dave Nething. Actions of the canvassing board Monday added six votes to Grabinger and eight to Nething for totals of 2,971 votes for Grabinger to 2,983 votes for Nething.
The 12-vote margin falls within the one half of 1 percent, or 15 votes, that triggers an automatic recount. Because the Senate is a state office the recount will be ordered by the state canvassing board when it meets later this week. The county would then have seven days in order to perform the recount.
“It’s mandatory,” said Noel Johnson, Stutsman County election administrator. “By statute it has to happen.”
His comments came at the end of the county canvassing board meeting. The board had individually reviewed 40 absentee ballots that had not been counted on election night. Some were late-arriving absentee ballots, others were electronic ballots cast by soldiers overseas and some had questions of signature.
Of the 40 ballots in question, eight were denied by the canvassing board. One was denied because there wasn’t a signature on the absentee application. A second ballot was denied due to the signature on the application and the signature on the ballot return envelope not matching. Two were denied for not having a signature on the ballot return envelope and four were denied for being postmarked on Nov. 4, Election Day, or later.
Johnson said they will wait for the recount to be ordered by the state canvassing board but anticipates it happening sometime next week.
“We basically start over with the votes zero to zero,” he said. “Every ballot will be run through the machines again.”
The most recent recount in Stutsman County was for a seat on the Jamestown Public School Board in 2006. That recount of approximately 4,000 ballots returned a tally that was one vote different than the election night returns. At the time Johnson credited the difference to lightly marked ballots.
“We Americans are always in a hurry,” he said in June 2006. “I looked at many of the ballots and quite a few had little circles that weren’t completely colored in. Perhaps one of those lightly colored marks was counted once and not the second time.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at knorman@ jamestownsun.com