Gannon/Mechaelsen wins treasurer’s race by two votes

Updated Tuesday evening – supervisors to hold special meeting

Lawson asks for recount

Incumbent Greene County treasurer Donna Lawson came one vote closer to keeping her job, but after the auditor’s absentee and special voter board met Tuesday, challenger Katlynn Gannon/Mechaelsen won the election by two votes. That count was upheld when the county supervisors canvassed the votes later that afternoon. Republican Mechaelsen received 2,026 votes to Lawson’s 2,024. There were five write-in votes.

Katlynn Gannon/Mechaelsen

When the votes were counted on Election Day, Mechaelsen held a three- vote lead, but there were 40 outstanding absentee ballots and four provisional ballots.

County auditor Jane Heun received only one absentee ballot after Election Day. It was postmarked Nov. 6, one day too late to be a valid vote.

The absentee and special voter board – composed of Democrat Mary Jane Fields, Republican Jenny Wessling, and Independent Adam Pedersen – considered the circumstances of each provisional ballot.

Donna Lawson

One of the provisional ballots was allowed. In that case, the voter had requested an absentee ballot but it had not been received at the auditor’s office before the election. He completed a provisional ballot at his regular polling place. He surrendered the unvoted absentee ballot at the auditor’s office the next day.

One of the provisional ballots was disallowed when the Secretary of State verified the person is not a qualified voter because he’s a felon. One voter had moved and attempted to vote in the precinct of her new residence. She was unable to prove her new address at the polls so her ballot was provisional. She was given a length of time to submit proof of her address but did not. The final provisional ballot came from a man who insisted on voting in a precinct other than the one in which he lives. The board disallowed the ballot because persons can only vote where they live.

All the ballots remained sealed until after the absentee and special voter board deliberated. Only the one approved ballot was opened.

Lawson attended the canvass and requested a recount immediately.

She appointed Chris Henning, chair of the Greene County Democrats, as her representative for the recount. Both women were at the canvass.

Mechaelsen via text message appointed Greene County Republican treasurer Sean Sebourn. Henning and Sebourn will appoint a third member. Lawson requested the recount be both manual and by machine.

The county supervisors will hold a special meeting Thursday, Nov. 15, at 8 am to order the recount. The recount must be completed by the statewide canvass Nov. 26.

The official election results are changed by one vote with the addition of the provisional ballot. Click here for the official results.

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