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Recount scheduled for Kalispell Ward 3 council seat

Daily Inter Lake | November 15, 2021 1:48 PM

A recount for the Kalispell City Council Ward 3 election will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16, in the South Campus Building conference room in Kalispell.

On Nov. 2, Jessica Dahlman edged out Rod Kuntz for the Ward 3 seat by just eight votes, 451 to 443.

Under Montana Code Annotated, a defeated candidate can request a recount when they lose “by a margin not exceeding 10 votes,” or if the candidate “is defeated by a margin not exceeding 1/4 of 1% of the total votes cast” — whichever is greater.

The defeated candidate must file a petition for a recount “within 5 days after the official canvass.”

Flathead County Commissioners Brad Abell, Pam Holmquist and Randy Brodehl will over see the recount, and three assistants will hand tally the votes on Tuesday afternoon. The original ballots were machine-tabulated, according to Monica Eisenzimer, the Flathead County Election Office manager.

Eisenzimer said she anticipated the recount “shouldn’t take too long,” and results should be available in just a few hours or less.

She said the Flathead County Election Office only performs recounts “once in a while.”

Rod Kuntz, who served on the Kalispell City Council until 2019, compared the recount to “a booth review in football.”

“If that’s what the losing candidate wants to do, that’s his right,” said Jessica Dahlman, a nurse with Logan Health.