Frank Moe wins "decision by lot" to become District 1 county commissioner -- DeArruda Wharton requests recount

Rhonda Silence

As of 10 a.m. November 10, Frank Moe is the winner in the Cook County Commissioner District 1 race. The Cook County Election Canvass Board convened at 9:10 a.m. to certify election results in the Cook County Commissioner’s Room at the Cook County Courthouse. Once the election results were certified and the tie in the District 1 race confirmed, County Auditor Braidy Powers, under supervision of the Canvass Board, made a decision by lot.

In front of about 15 observers, Powers called the candidates—Kristin DeArruda Wharton and Frank Moe, who had each earned 246 votes in the November 4 election—forward. He explained the “device” to determine the winner. He had a cloth bag. Into the bag he placed two blocks—one red; one blue. He then had the candidates put their hand in the bag, clasp the block in his or her hand and wait until both had drawn. Powers asked them to open their hands and Moe had the red block—he had won the decision by lot.

Because the election was a tie, either of the candidates may request a recount, to be paid for by the county. DeArruda Wharton asked for a recount, which will get under way at about 11 a.m. today.

Overseeing the Canvass and the recount is Auditor Powers who is the government official who convenes the canvass board. Serving on the Canvass Board are Court Administrator Kim Shepherd, former Court Clerk Elaine Rabold, Grand Marais City Administrator Mike Roth and County Commissioner Mike Roth.   

If the count is unchanged, Frank Moe will be the next county commissioner for District 1.

The race was also extremely close in Commissioner District 5. Challenger Ginny Storlie of Lutsen received 5 more votes than incumbent Bruce Martinson of Schroeder. The final tally was 303 votes, or 49.92 percent for Storlie to Martinson’s 298, or 49.09 percent. That race had 6 write-in votes.

The News-Herald contacted Commissioner Martinson on November 5 and asked if he would request a recount because the count was so close. Martinson said he would like to see a recount because he was told the machine only counted the ballots once. “I would have liked to have seen it run through twice,” he said.

However, if he requests a recount, unlike the District 1 race which meets the critieria for a recount paid for by the county, Martinson would have to pay. Martinson said he will wait to see the outcome of the inevitable District 1 recount. “If the count comes back different, then I would consider a recount,” said Martinson.

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2014-11-08 digital edition

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