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Pierce edges Kempf in recount by four votes

Photo by Rachelle Klemme Otter Tail County Auditor Wayne Stein and city of Wadena Finance Officer Lloyd Lanz count a stack of ballots by hand.

Toby Pierce is still the second city council winner by a four-vote margin. As long as Wednesday's recount results will be made official this Monday at noon, he will retain his seat on the council.

The manually recounted results were Jeanette Baymler at 817 votes, Pierce at 741 votes and Gilette Kempf at 737 votes. Electronically counted results from election day had Pierce at 740 votes and Kempf at 736 votes.

City administrator Brad Swenson commented that the election day computers do their job after all.

The only change between the manual recount and the computer recount was one ballot from Precinct 1 determined to give voter's intent toward Pierce and Kempf. Both tallied an extra vote, maintaining the same four-vote difference.

The only disputed ballot had Baymler's name filled in and a small x mark by Pierce's name. Swenson said the x mark was not counted to begin with, and if it was counted, it would give Pierce an extra vote.