Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect late-breaking news.

The results of two local county commissioner elections have temporarily been left in limbo after a publicly funded recount request was formally requested. In addition, the Isanti mayor's election will be recounted, but on one of the candidate's expense.

In Chisago County, which featured current North Branch mayor Jim Swenson running against current North Branch School Board chair Tim MacMillan in the new District 1 that encompasses all of the North Branch city limits, there wound up being a vote differential of only 17 votes, with Swenson being declared the winner.

In Isanti County, it was also District 1 that featured a small margin of victory, with Alan Duff defeating Joe Morley by only 15 votes.

According to state statute, if an election features a vote total of more than 400 but less than 50,000, the losing candidate can officially request a recount that is publicly funded if the difference in total votes for each candidate is less than one-half of one percent. 

In Chisago County’s case, Swenson had a vote total of 1,899 (49.99%), while MacMillan had a vote total of 1,882 (49.54%) for a differential of .45%. If just two voters had voted for Swenson instead of MacMillan or written in a name, the recount would have had to have been paid for by MacMillan.

With Isanti County, Duff received 1,727 (49.86%) and Morley received 1,712 (49.42%) for a differential of .44%. Like with the Chisago County race, if two voters had voted for Duff instead of Morely or three voters had voted for Duff instead of writing in a vote, the recount would have had to have been paid for by Morely.

According to Chisago County Auditor-Treasurer Bridgitte Konrad, the recount is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 9 a.m. at the Chisago County Government Center. The recount is open to the public.

In Isanti County, the recount is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the Isanti County Government Center at 9 a.m.

There was also a third race, for Isanti City Council, that was also statutorily eligible for a publicly funded recount. As of Monday night, Nov. 21, candidate Daniel Hinnenkamp, who came in third behind Dan Collision by only seven votes in the two-seat election, had not made an official request. According to Isanti County Elections Coordinator Heidi Fowler, official requests must be made by 5 p.m. seven days after the canvassing board convenes. In this case, the city of Isanti’s canvassing board convened on Tuesday, Nov. 15, meaning he had until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22 to file his request with either the city or the county.

While Hinnenkamp didn't file for a recount, current Isanti Mayor Jeff Johnson did file a request for a recount. According to a post on his personal Facebook page, Johnson made the request "Because of a lot of community worry and discrepancy in the election count." While current council member James Gordon defeated Johnson by nearly an 11% margin (1,338 to 1,077), the precinct results had Gordon receiving the exact same vote total - 669 votes in both precincts. Since this recount request falls outside any state statutes for a publicly funded recount, Johnson will be required to pay for the costs associated with the recount. This recount will take place on Monday, Dec. 5 beginning at 9 a.m. at Isanti City Hall. Like the other recounts, this one is also open to the public.

The results of the Chisago County recount were not released before the physical edition of the Star went to press due to the early Thanksgiving Day deadline. For the final results of the recount, go to www.isanti-chisagocountystar.com.

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