Recounts for Two Legislative Districts in the Northland Begin

DULUTH, Minn. –It’s been nearly a full month since Northland voters went to the polls to vote in the mid-term election. The votes have all been tabulated and the results have been announced.

However, recounts began in two very close legislative races, 3A and 3B, got underway

The County Commissioner’s room in the St. Louis County Courthouse was full of people who were hand counting ballots from the Minnesota Legislative District 3B race.

Mary Murphy, the DFL candidate who had served in the legislature since 1976, fell 35 votes short of Republican Natalie Zeleznikar.

In total 21,589 people voted in Legislative district 3B.  The 35-vote difference was small enough that a recount is taking place.

Representatives from the DFL and Republican parties were on hand as the recount took place. They were watching as St Louis County officials split the ballots by names of the candidates and then hand counted them. The attorneys for each party agree the likelihood of the election result changing because of a recount is quite small.

“I’ve never lost with a lead or won when I’m behind.”, said Reid LeBeau the republican attorney.

David Zoll, the attorney for the DFL said,” I haven’t seen one in any recount I’ve done. I’ve had recounts that started with one vote. It typically doesn’t change the results.”

With the likelihood of the result not changing, why go the cost and time-consuming process of having a recount?
Zoll said “I think it proves two things. One, I hope it gives the public confidence that the machines and the voting options we have work very well.”

LeBeau agreed, saying “All parts of our democracy are open. So, if anyone has a question about how the recount works, come right down here, see how it’s done; see for yourselves the reliability of the machines.”

Legislative District 3B is not the only recount taking place. District 3A’s results are also undergoing a hand recount.. There, Republican Roger Skraba has a 15-vote lead over DFLer Rob Eklund who was first elected in 2015. The total vote count in 3A was 21,743.

The 3B recount at the St Louis County Courthouse continues Tuesday and then on Wednesday, the 3 A recount will take place..

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