Recount officials may not take a break for a meal or for the day prior to the completion of the sorting, counting, review, and labeling of challenges, and secure storage of the ballots for any precinct. All challenged ballots must be stored securely during breaks in the counting process.
Ballots must be recounted by precinct. The recount official shall open the sealed container of ballots and recount them in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, section 204C.22. The recount official must review each ballot and sort the ballots into piles based upon the recount official's determination as to which candidate, if any, the voter intended to vote for: one pile for each candidate that is the subject of the recount and one pile for all other ballots (those for other candidates, overvotes, undervotes, etc.). During the sorting, a candidate or candidate's representative may challenge the ballot if he or she disagrees with the recount official's determination of for whom the ballot should be counted and whether there are identifying marks on the ballot. At a recount of a ballot question, the manner in which a ballot is counted may be challenged by the person who requested the recount or that person's representative. Challenges may not be automatic or frivolous and the challenger must state the basis for the challenge pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 204C.22. Challenged ballots must be placed into separate piles, one for ballots challenged by each candidate. A challenge is frivolous if it is based upon an alleged identifying mark other than a signature or an identification number written anywhere on the ballot or a name written on the ballot completely outside of the space for the name of a write-in candidate.
Once ballots have been sorted, the recount officials must count the piles using the stacking method described in Minnesota Statutes, section 204C.21. A candidate or candidate's representative may immediately request to have a pile of 25 counted a second time if there is not agreement as to the number of votes in the pile.
After the ballots from a precinct have been counted, the recount official may review the challenged ballots with the candidate or the candidate representative. The candidate representative may choose to withdraw any challenges previously made. The precinct name, the reason for the challenge, and the name of the person challenging the ballot (or the candidate that person represents), and a sequential number must be marked on the back of each remaining challenged ballot before it is placed in an envelope marked "Challenged Ballots." After the count of votes for the precinct has been determined, all ballots except the challenged ballots must be resealed in the ballot envelopes and returned with the other election materials to the custodian of the ballots. The recount official may make copies of the challenged ballots. After the count of votes for all precincts has been determined during that day of counting, the challenged ballot envelope must be sealed and kept secure for presentation to the canvassing board.
MS s 204C.361
8 SR 1348; 17 SR 8; 34 SR 1561
May 26, 2010