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Primary Election 2018: Taves requests recount for auditor/treasurer seat

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Judy Taves2 / 3
Brian Hagen3 / 3

Current Wadena County auditor/treasurer Judy Taves is requesting a recount in her narrow loss Tuesday night to Brian Hagen for a spot on the General election ballot.

The Primary election unofficial results for the Wadena County auditor/treasurer seat showed Heather Olson by a wide margin (38.45 percent) and Hagen beating out Taves by just two votes (392 to 390) as of Tuesday night. Two candidates move on from the Primary election to the General in November.

Election results are not official until they have been reviewed and certified by a canvassing board. That canvassing board meets Thursday morning to certify the counts at the Wadena County Courthouse.

If necessary, the canvassing board oversees a recount. According to election coordinator Joy Weyer, the margin of votes is small enough to allow a recount if it's requested, but that can't be done until after the canvassing takes place. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State, a publicly funded recount will occur if the apparent losing candidate requests one by filing a notice with the appropriate filing officer within 48 hours after the canvassing board meeting.

"There will be a recount," Taves said Wednesday afternoon. "I already put in a formal recount request, considering Wadena was already in here again this morning."

There was some issue that arose election night with a city of Wadena precinct involving the new voting machine not zeroing out properly. There seemed to be some concern as to whether it tabulated votes correctly.

One or two votes either way could be the difference in the election. Either way, Taves said she will be satisfied with the results.

"This is America," Taves said. "However it turns out is how it turns out, I'm fine with that."

If the recount process moves forward, it would normally be led by the county auditor, however, since Taves is the auditor and the candidate in question, an outside county member may come in to oversee the process of recounting the ballots.