Recount happening for Lake County Commissioner election

The special election for the Lake County Commissioner ended with one clear winner and a three-way tie for second place leading to a public recount happening on Friday, August 18. The tie was between Colby Abazs, Joe Baltich, and Paul Hartshorn. Abazs and Baltich had 99 votes and Hartshorn had 97 votes. Paul Hartshorn is included in this recount because he was within a certain percentage of the other two candidates.

In Friday’s recount, the secured ballots will be hand-counted by trained election officials. Candidates, their representatives, and the public may view the recount process but may not touch the ballots. Each candidate is allowed to have a representative observe the election officials’ sorting, and a candidate’s representative may challenge the decision of the election official. E.g. If the voter picked a candidate, changed their mind, crossed it out, and picked a different candidate, the representative can discuss who that vote was meant to go to.

By the end of the recount, if the votes are still tied, policy dictates that a name is randomly chosen.

The Recount for the Lake County Special Commissioner election is open to the public and will be held Friday, August 18, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in the Lake County Law Enforcement Center (613 3rd Ave. Two Harbors, MN 55616).

For more results from this year’s election, head to our election results page. For more information on the two special elections for county commissioners from this year head to our Koochiching and Lake County Commissioners election story.