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Franson keeps 11-vote edge after recount in Douglas County

The race in Minnesota House District 8B is still razor thin following a state-ordered recount in Douglas County Wednesday morning.

After ballots from all 17 precincts were recounted, Republican incumbent Mary Franson and DFL challenger Bob Cunniff each picked up one additional vote.

The recount will now switch to the other county in the district, Otter Tail, where ballots will be scrutinized tomorrow.

When votes were tallied on election night, Franson held a one-vote lead. It increased to 11 when 35 ballots were randomly discarded last week after over-votes were found in three Alexandria precincts. A judge ordered the ballots to be withdrawn before the recount as indicated under state law.

As was the case on election night, the recount showed Cunniff carrying most of Douglas County. He received 6,840 votes to Franson's 5,843. Cunniff's additional vote came from Ida Township while Franson picked up one more vote in Carlos Township.

Only two ballots were challenged. Cunniff challenged a ballot in Carlos Township and Franson questioned a ballot in Alexandria Ward 3. Those challenges will be sent on the State Canvassing Board to consider at its meeting on December 4.

In past recounts, a number of ballots were the subject of arguments about voter intent. Such ballots could determine the outcome of races as close as in House District 8B.

Challenged ballots will be posted on the secretary of state's Web site ( when available.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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