Following a recount Monday, 22 ballots challenged by two candidates vying for Minneapolis' Ward 2 will determine the winner.
Democratic Socialist candidate Robin Wonsley Worlobah led by 14 votes, a smaller margin than the first count, over DFL candidate Yusra Arab, after the recount. The challenged ballots, however, were not included in that total, according to a news release from the city. Worlobah received 4,046 votes to Arab's 4,032, after the recount.
The current City Council, which serves as the canvassing board that certifies the city's elections results, will have the final say on whether each challenged ballot should ultimately be included in the tallies.
Casper Hill, media relations coordinator for the city, said Worlobah was declared the winner Monday night, although Arab could win depending on the outcome of the challenged ballots.
The number of ballots challenged exceeds the margin of victory, with Arab challenging 12 and Worlobah challenging 10.
If Worlobah challenged ballots cast for Arab — but loses some of those, thus reverting the ballots back towards Arab's total — Arab can still win the election, he said. Arab also would need to win many of her challenges to win the election.
Ballots can be challenged if a candidate disagrees with the determination of election officials during the recount. The challenged ballots will be presented by the City Council for a final decision and certification of the recount results.
This was the first time Minneapolis conducted a recount in a race determined by ranked-choice voting. Worlobah was declared the winner earlier this month, after she beat DFL candidate Arab by 19 votes.
The two were competing for a chance to represent the Second Ward on the City Council. The ward stretches across the Mississippi River on the eastern side of the city and includes the Cedar Riverside, Longfellow and University of Minnesota neighborhoods.
It has been represented since 2006 by Council Member Cam Gordon, who was eliminated in the second-to-last round of ranked-choice voting tabulation.
In the final round during the first count, Worlobah received 4,056 votes to Arab's 4,037. Arab later requested a recount.
To conduct the recount, elections officials inspected each ballot cast in the race. Representatives for Worlobah and Arab had the chance to challenge whether ballots with errors – such as a stray mark – should be disqualified.