UPDATE: Poll workers finish mayoral recount
City Clerk LuAnn Hecht reported around 4 p.m. Friday, April 13, that the recount of mayoral-election votes shows Dan Toland as the winner over Don Richards - 936 votes to 925.
One more vote was counted for Toland in the recount than in the regular election. Officials determined that an absentee ballot that had been completed with an ink pen was counted, but the votes on it had not tallied correctly.
Though canvassers certified the recount activities, Hecht said the elections results could not be certified until next Friday, April 20. The city must legally wait five days since either candidate has a right to appeal the recount results.
Work to begin the recount of 2012 mayoral-election ballots began at 9 a.m. Friday, April 13, in the training room at City Hall. City Clerk Lu Ann Hecht said the process was going well and faster than expected. She estimated the teams would finish by early afternoon.
Hecht, who's been helping with River Falls elections since 1989, said this was the first recount she's helped conduct.
The process entails teams of three people at a table together; one would place the ballot in the middle of the table and read the result - for Richards or for Toland - then the other two would confirm the vote visually plus make a "hash mark" on their recount form.
When a team finished a pile, the two workers making marks would compare their numbers to be sure they also matched. The groups worked on one district at a time counting only the mayoral votes.
The teams combed through paper ballots, as well as the ballot-machine tapes that show electronic votes made on a digital screen. The recount workers also fed the paper ballots back through the counting machines to be sure the first and second tally numbers matched.
Information on the recount results will be posted as soon as they're available and confirmed, either late Friday or early Monday morning.