Inside the Brooklyn Park City Council chambers is a blank name plate. It's the same spot where Jeanette Meyer sat before she died from lung cancer in May.
Either Wynfred Russell or Bob Mata will take her place to fill the remaining two years of her term in the West District. Both men had hoped to have an answer by now, but election results from Tuesday left an uncertain outcome.
Mata defeated Russell by just five votes.
It was enough for Russell to make his way to Brooklyn Park City Hall on Wednesday morning to request a recount with the city clerk.
"We just want to make sure that there are no errors, all of the votes are thoroughly counted and all of that," Russell said.
Neither candidate expected the margin to be that close.
"I was surprised," Mata said. "I thought I would do much better than that, from the response I was getting, from the people I was going out talking to."
"When the tally came through, it was like, it literally took the air out of the room, to see that it was only five votes that made the difference in this election," Russell said of his election night watch-party.
Nearly 1,300 people voted in the special election to replace Jeanette Meyer, that amounts to a 10 percent voter turnout.
"I would've hoped that there would've been a lot more people out there but, it is what it is," Mata said.
Brooklyn Park City Clerk Devin Montero will lead the recount.
"More than likely I'll use the council chambers," Montero said of where the recount will take place. "And what we'll do, only the West District, we'll sort the ballots for each candidate, and then count those."
Both candidates now eagerly await the results. The Brooklyn Park City Council will canvass the votes on Friday. At some point after that, the recount will take place. Montero expects that process to take about three hours. He says an outcome should be know by Aug. 27.
"We did hear that there was some problem with one of the machines, so hopefully we'll be victorious and come out of the recount fine," said Russell.
"I'm confident," said Mata. "I'm hoping it comes out in my favor, but if it doesn't, so be it, that's the way it is."
The city clerk said the problems with the voting machine were minor and shouldn't have affected the count.
Meantime, Delane Cleveland
Aug. 15, 2012