First Ward residents should learn Monday who their next City Council member will be, as Ramsey County officials meet to reallocate ballots in the ranked-choice election.
The hand count is necessary because none of the seven candidates received more than 50 percent of the first-choice votes. Dai Thao finished first with 28 percent, followed by Noel Nix, 24 percent. Among the others Johnny Howard had 15 percent and Debbie Montgomery 14 percent.
The count will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the county's elections office, where staffers will begin sorting the 4,766 ballots into piles for each candidate, elections director Joe Mansky said. Ballots from last-place candidates will be reallocated to the others based on subsequent choices until one candidate has a majority or only two candidates are left, in which case the one with the most votes wins.
Mansky expects an unofficial winner will be declared by early afternoon. If the City Council signs off on the count, the new council member will be sworn in on Nov. 21.