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Why the Minneapolis Ward 6 race was recounted Tuesday

Incumbent Abdi Warsame came out victorious – again.

Three weeks after Election Day 2017, a Minneapolis City Council race was still unresolved. A Tuesday recount ended those questions.

A recount that started at 9 a.m. ended less than 4 hours later, when the campaign of Mohamud Noor – which initiated the recount – withdrew its contest.

The retabulation got through three of the nine precincts before being ended, a Minneapolis spokesperson said.

Here's a quick rundown of why this happened in the first place

What happened?

Votes from the Minneapolis Ward 6 city council race were recounted Tuesday.

The ballots were tallied by hand.

What happened during the Nov. 7 election?

The two frontrunners in the Ward 6 race were Abdi Warsame (running for re-election, after first winning the seat in 2013) and Mohamud Noor (director for the Confederation of Somali Communities, running to try to replace Warsame). 

The initial round of counting from the Nov. 7 elections found Warsame had won – but barely.


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Warsame got 3,629 first-choice votes, just passing the threshold of 3,618 needed to claim the seat. Warsame's total made up 50.16 percent of first-choice votes. (Under ranked choice voting, you needed 50 percent plus one more vote to win.)

Noor meanwhile finished in second place with 3,370, pulling in 46.86 percent of the vote.

That's a difference of 239 votes.

So why was there a recount?

Noor asked for a recount the week after the election, filing his request on Nov. 13, a Minneapolis city clerk told GoMN at the time. 

Noor's campaign, on Facebook, claimed Warsame's small lead was the result of "alleged illegal behavior including bringing voters from outside Minneapolis to participate in our elections, and campaigning at multiple poll locations." 

"Many locations had more people voting from that address than could lawfully occupy the residence," he wrote.


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The Star Tribune reports Noor paid the $7,000 fee needed to trigger the recount last week.

What happens next?

With the recount ended, Warsame will hold on to his seat.

The City Canvassing Board will meet on Friday to certify the results, a city spokesperson said.

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