Geneva precinct chosen for state post election review

Published 1:52 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2011

After being recounted three times, the ballots cast in the Geneva precinct during the 2010 general election were again under review Wednesday. This time, by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office.

The city of Geneva was chosen at random by the Secretary of State’s Office to be part of its post election review.

Freeborn County conducted a similar review about a week after the 2010 general elections. Geneva was also chosen at random to receive a review at that time, when the ballots were recounted for the first time. Those ballots were again included in the recounts for House District 27A race and the governor’s race.

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“I’m not counting the ballots this time, but looking at the completion of forms to get a broad overview of how voting procedures are going in the state,” said Minnesota Director of Elections Gary Poser.

Unlike during the county’s post-election equipment review, where several election judges, county employees and political observers were present to oversee the process, Poser worked alone Wednesday in the Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office. He reviewed a variety of forms completed during the voting process, including returned absentee envelopes to make sure they were recorded correctly.

Poser said he looks for patterns in how various forms are filled out. Similar patterns with post election forms in different precincts across the state may signal certain indications. For example, if the same types of forms are filled out incorrectly, and that’s found to be a consistent pattern across the board, then it may be an indication that the form needs to be redesigned or additional training needs to occur on proper procedures.

Poser expected the review of the Geneva precinct’s paperwork to take about an hour.

“Everything has checked out each time,” said Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer Dennis Distad. “This is another verification to address any doubts as to how the system works.”

A total of 32 precincts across the state were chosen to receive this review: four from each of the state’s eight congressional districts. Two precincts in Blue Earth County and one in Houston County were also chosen at random by the state to receive a post-election review from the 1st Congressional District.