Out of 1,003 votes cast for the Brainerd City Council Ward 2 seat there was a difference of just 22 votes between the three candidates.
Incumbent Kelly Bevans was the leading vote-getter with 345 votes, just 13 votes ahead of challenger Ed Shaw, who garnered 332 votes. Finishing third was Jan Burton, who with 323 votes was just nine votes behind Shaw.
Shaw said Wednesday he believed the vote margin between himself and Bevans was outside of the percentage limit - one-half of 1 percent - that would allow a recount.
Crow Wing County Auditor Deborah Erickson said there is no automatic recount in a city or local race. The automatic trigger only happens in state and federal races. But any candidate may request a recount with any number of ballots. If the difference between candidates is less than a half of a percent, the jurisdiction is responsible for the cost. For a larger vote difference, the candidate would need to pay the cost.
With 1,003 votes cast in Ward 2, five votes represents a half of a percent. The cost would include time, materials and election judges. Erickson said she didn't have an estimate for that cost.
Shaw said while it was fair to say he has no plans to seek a recount now, it was worth looking into because the race was so close.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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