Recount concludes, but Emmer still seeks answersST. PAUL — A recount that ended Friday night did not deliver Tom Emmer the votes he needs to win Minnesota’s governorship, but he is not giving up until he gets a few more answers.
By: Don Davis, Worthington Daily Globe
ST. PAUL — A recount that ended Friday night did not deliver Tom Emmer the votes he needs to win Minnesota’s governorship, but he is not giving up until he gets a few more answers.
Depending on those answers, he could take the election to court.
When Hennepin County election officials ended their work Friday night, the five-day recount of all 2.1 million ballots cast on Nov. 2 wrapped up with Democrat Mark Dayton leading by about the same as when it started: roughly 9,000 votes. But work continues today as Emmer and Dayton’s campaigns begin examining ballots Emmer representatives challenged.
“I am not currently planning an election (court) contest,” Emmer told reporters during a brief Friday morning news conference at state Republican Party headquarters.
He and former Minnesota Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, one of Emmer’s attorneys, said a final lawsuit decision cannot come until they get more questions answered. Prime among those answers is why the Minnesota Supreme Court last month ruled against them a case demanding that the number of ballots and number of voters be reconciled before the statewide recount. Republicans think more ballots were cast than there were voters, a possible basis for a lawsuit.
The court ruled within hours of oral arguments that it would not order the reconciliation process, but said the reasoning behind the opinion would come later.
Emmer, a state representative from Delano, told reporters that he expects most ballot challenges his team issued during this week’s recount to be withdrawn.
Emmer’s team has challenged more than 3,500 ballots, not nearly enough to overcome the 9,000-vote deficit.
Challenges may be made by representatives of either candidate while election officials hand-count each of the 2.1 million ballots cast in the Nov. 2 election. If an election official deems a challenge frivolous, meaning it appears to be a legitimate vote, the ballot is counted.
The board on Friday decided to order about 30 counties where “frivolous” challenges have been lodged to make copies of those ballots and send them to the board early next week. The board will decide later whether to look over those ballots, but the four jurists and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie who sit on the board next week must determine voters' intent for 1,000 legitimately challenged ballots.