Recount in Gardner, ND City Council election yields same results as initial count

Both Carey Hanson and Patrick Nelson are still sitting at eight votes each

FARGO, N.D. — Several Cass County employees spent the day recounting ballots for three local elections, including the race for Ayr mayor, Gardner City Council, and West Fargo School Board.

A tight race isn’t the norm for local elections in the small city of Gardner; a town of nearly a hundred people just 25 miles north of Fargo.

“There’s basically five streets, they’re all dirt,” says Gardner Mayor Todd Kalm. “There’s basically no businesses, there’s no gas station, there’s no bar. There’s a church and there’s an ag company, and that’s about it.”

But with Carey Hanson and Patrick Nelson each receiving eight votes in the race for City Council, the town was in for a nail-biter.

“I don’t think it’s ever happened before,” says Kalm.

In fact, he says any competition at all is out of the ordinary.

“To have three people running for two positions was already unusual, but then to end up in a tie was very interesting,” Kalm said.

A recount of the initial results confirmed the tie, with both Hanson and Nelson still sitting at eight votes each.

“There was a clear winner for the second position at the end of voting day, but then some late ballots came that were post-dated on time but didn’t get there until later, and the votes on them ended up bringing those two to a tie,” explains Kalm.

To break the tie, an impartial volunteer will randomly draw one of the candidate’s names out of a hat while two other volunteers bear witness.

Kalm says it’s been enjoyable seeing more community members involved in the election process.

“I think that if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t happened, we would’ve seen more of them out, maybe going door to door, you know, and maybe doing some actual campaigning. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see that much, but it was still fun to, you know, have competition,” Kalm said.

The race for mayor of Ayr, North Dakota drew only two voters.

The recount confirmed the one-to-one tie between Terry Wills and Noah Trangsrud.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections