After a recount Monday, 22 ballots contested by two candidates vying for Ward 2 of Minneapolis will determine the winner.
After the recount, Socialist Democratic candidate Robin Wonsley Worlobah led with 14 votes, a lower margin than the first recount, over DFL candidate Yusra Arab. The disputed ballots, however, were not included in that total, according to a city press release. Worlobah received 4,046 votes against 4,032 for Arab, after the recount.
The current city council, which serves as the canvassing board that certifies the city’s election results, will have the final say on whether each contested ballot should ultimately be included in the tally.
Casper Hill, media relations coordinator for the city, said Worlobah was declared the winner on Monday evening, although Arab could win depending on the outcome of the disputed ballot.
The number of contested ballots exceeds the margin of victory, with the Arabs contesting 12 and the Worlobah contesting 10.
If Worlobah disputes the votes cast for the Arabs – but loses some, thus reducing the votes to the Arab total – the Arabs can still win the election, he said. Arab would also need to win many of his challenges to win the election.
Ballots can be contested if a candidate disagrees with the election officials’ decision during the count. The contested ballots will be presented by the Municipal Council for final decision and certification of the results of the count.
It was the first time Minneapolis had conducted a recount in a race determined by choice voting. Worlobah was declared the winner earlier this month, after beating the DFL Arab candidate by 19 votes.
The two were competing for a chance to represent the second ward on city council. The neighborhood spans the Mississippi River east of the city and includes the Cedar Riverside, Longfellow, and University of Minnesota neighborhoods.
He has been represented since 2006 by Council member Cam Gordon, who was eliminated in the penultimate round of ranked votes tabulation.
In the last round of the first count, Worlobah obtained 4,056 votes against 4,037 for Arab. Arab later called for a recount.
To conduct the count, election officials inspected each ballot cast in the race. Representatives for Worlobah and Arab were given the opportunity to challenge whether ballots with errors – such as a spurious mark – should be disqualified.