Votes to be Randomly Canceled in Tight Minn. Race

Updated: 11/20/2012 4:29 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

A Minnesota judge has ruled that election officials must randomly cancel 35 ballots in a tight legislative race due to a counting error.

The action has ramifications for the unresolved contest between Republican Rep. Mary Franson and Democratic challenger Bob Cunniff. Franson is ahead by a single vote pending a probable recount.

A Douglas County judge sided Tuesday with Franson and ordered that the county canvassing board remove the ballots before a tally is certified on Wednesday.

Some voters received the wrong ballots on Election Day at shared polling place for voters from two different legislative districts. State law calls for the random extraction to remove excess votes.

Regardless, the race is almost certain to meet the threshold for an automatic recount. That is slated to start on Nov. 28.

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