NEW ULM - What happened to 67 ballots in the September primary election to trim to two the number of candidates running for the office of councilor-at-large on the New Ulm City Council?
That's the question being asked by Rick Howk who was determined to have finished third behind Charles Schmitz by a margin of 18 votes.
On Monday, he said he will be filing a complaint with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office regarding what he believes to be two irregularities in the September primary.
The complaint also is directed toward what Howk believes is an apparent conflict of interest on the part of Councilor Ken RockVam who is one of the two candidates that advanced to the November General Election in the race for councilor-at-large.
"RockVam should have reclused himself" from serving on the Canvassing Board, which was made up of the five council members, the mayor and City Clerk-Treasurer Reg Vorwerk, "because he was one of the candidates," Howk said.
The Election Abstract, signed by the canvassing board, lists 1,883 individuals as voting, and the total number of votes cast for the three candidates as being 1,816. It shows 792 votes for RockVam, 521 votes for Schmitz and 503 votes cast for Howk.
The abstract does not indicate that any ballots were spoiled or that any ballots did not have a vote marked for any of the three candidates.
"I will need to take a look into this so I can't give an answer right now," Vorwerk said Friday.
Ron Larsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.