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Afton ward race will see recount

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State-wide, the talk may be of the Coleman-Franken recount, but in Afton, it's all about the Knutson-Palmquist race.

On Wednesday, Afton Ward One candidate Ken Knutson announced he had filed for a recount of the ward's 496 ballot papers from the Nov. 4 election.

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According to the results posted on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website, Bill Palmquist won the council seat in Ward One with 248 votes.

Knutson trailed by six, with 242 votes, and six voters went for write-in candidates.

"I've decided to request [a recount] and I filed the request with Afton City Hall this morning," said Knutson, who had indicated he might seek a recount the night of the election.

"I would like to keep it very simple with just Bill and me and whoever needs to be there to do the count."

The ballot papers will be counted at the Washington County building in Stillwater, said the county's official in charge of elections, Kevin Corbid.

That's for reasons of security, owing to the large-scale recount of the votes cast in the U.S. senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken.

The Afton Ward One recount is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday (the Coleman-Franken recount begins the next day) and a couple of Afton's election judges will be requested to recount the ballot papers by hand.

"We aren't allowed to touch the ballots as I understand it," said Knutson, who has paid a $200 bond to the city to cover the cost of staging the recount.

"We will look and say, 'Yes, that's for Bill, and that one's for Ken,' and the judges will be responsible for it."

Palmquist could not immediately be reached for comment.

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