With just four votes separating the "Yes" and "No" supporters in Tuesday's referendum, every vote counts. That's why the focus is on 15 absentee ballots which were taken out, but only one has been received.
The Winneshiek County Auditor's Office will collect those absentee ballots up until Monday morning. In order to be counted in the election results, the ballots must be in an envelope that is postmarked April 30th or earlier. If a ballot arrives but is postmarked May 1st or later, it is disallowed.
County Auditor Ben Steines says there were no ballots cast on Tuesday that were disallowed, so the 1,380 to 1,384 tally is correct--now the focus shifts to the absentee ballots.
County supervisors will meet at noon Monday to open any absentee ballots that have arrived, then to certify the election results.
A recount of the ballots could be set into motion with signatures from people equivalent to one percent of the vote turnout on Tuesday--in other words, 28 people--if a petition were submitted to county officials within three days of Monday's vote canvass.
If the petition has the required number of signatures, a three-person recount board would be appointed, with one member being appointed by the group requesting the recount, one member being appointed by the group with the higher number of votes received and a third member chosen jointly by the two other board members. The three-member board would review the ballots and issue a ruling upholding the county board's canvass or modifying it.