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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "Why were there no women on the recount committee?"

Posted: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 10:47 AM

Deborah e-mails: "Why were there only men on the three-person committee  recounting ballots cast in the State Senate District 28 election?"

Mr. Answer Person says: "Local governmental bodies have made gender equity a priority when making appointments to their committees.  But the recount committee wasn't a Winneshiek County-appointed committee and it was the result of an unusual appointment process.

Members of a normal city or county committee would be appointed by the county board or city council and gender would be considered when making appointments.  But in the case of a recount committee, the appointments are made through the political candidates themselves.  There's one representative appointed by the Democratic candidate and one appointed by the Republican candidate.  Those two people then selected a third person to serve on the committee.

The political parties could have appointed a woman as their representative to the Senate District 28 recount, but each selected a man.  The two men selected another man as the third member of the recount committee.

So, in short, the recount committee make-up wasn't the result of votes by either the county board or city council, but came about because of the representatives chosen by the political parties for the task.

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