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Voter turnout in county exceeds state percentage

Ninety percent of Hubbard County's eligible voters went to the polls on Election Day.

That exceeded the state voter turnout, which was just under 80 percent.

Hubbard County Auditor Pam Heeren said there were no problems, and other than the large number of votes cast, the day went smoothly at all the precincts.

More than 11,000 votes were cast - 11,706 to be exact. The number of absentee voters in the general election almost equaled the total number of people who voted in the September primary; 1,371 absentee voters versus 1,381 primary voters.

Most precincts reported a record number of new registrations, especially with young voters. New registrations numbered 1,761, the Hubbard County auditor's office said.

Because of the razor thin margin of victory in the U.S. Senate race, a mandated recount will take place Nov. 19, Heeren told county commissioners.

That will cost the county around $1,000. Heeren will have to hire up to eight recount judges to help her staff hand count all the ballots because time is of the essence.

Judges get paid $10 per hour and get meals and mileage reimbursed.

Heeren said it will take at least a full day to count all those ballots but "it depends on who's here to observe and how picky they are," she said.

Because the Senate race was bitterly contested, teams of overseers from both Norm Coleman's and Al Franken's campaigns are expected to watch closely over the recount.

Three teams of recount judges will be deployed counting the ballots to determine each voter's intent.

A recount is automatic under Minnesota law if the results indicate the winner and loser are less than one half of 1 percentage point apart. By press time, only 236 votes separated Coleman and Franken.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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