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Discrepancy in Meeker County Commissioner race changes tie vote

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

LITCHFIELD - A discrepancy in the number of votes cast and the number of voters' signatures has changed the outcome in a tie vote between two Meeker County Commissioners.

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The county canvassing board will meet at 2 p.m. today to verify the election returns. It's expected that the loser in the race will request a recount.

On Wednesday the Meeker County Auditor's office determined that the candidates for the District 2 County Commissioner seat - incumbent David Gabrielson and his challenger Dale Fenrich - each had 1,069 votes.

But in a press release this morning County Auditor Barbara Loch said that after spending the last two days reviewing and certify the results a discrepancy between the number of voter signatures on the roster and the ballots counted for Litchfield Township was discovered. This discrepancy was also noted by the Litchfield Township election judges on their incident log, according to Loch.

The process revealed there was one more ballot cast than there were signatures.

After following the procedures for the over-vote, which according to state law involves randomly picking a ballot out of the box, the auditor determined that Fenrich had one more vote than Gabrielson.

Gabrielson has seven days to request, in writing, a recount.

The county would be responsible for paying for such a recount.

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