Emmer gains six votes in Hennepin County

by James Nord

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer gained six ballots in Hennepin County after a Plymouth voting precinct finalized a discrepancy in election results, bringing the total votes he needs to overcome DFLer Mark Dayton to roughly 8,750.

But Emmer isn’t discouraged. When asked if the campaign might decline an automatic recount because of the steep climb, Emmer’s attorney, Tony Trimble said, “None whatsoever.”

Hennepin County represents one-fifth of Minnesota’s voters, the Associated Press reports. In order to avoid a recount, Dayton would need to lead Emmer by about 10,500 votes statewide — or one-half of one percent of the total votes cast.

After noting the number of ballots recorded by voting machines was less than the number of people that moved through the suburban polling place, officials at the Plymouth precinct re-ran the ballots and submitted the new total, Hennepin County Elections Director Rachel Smith said.

“There’s no way on election night we can be 100 percent certain everything transmitted from the precinct at nine o’clock is perfect,” she said.

Smith, who had a hand in the 2008 Senate recount, is preparing for another to begin Nov. 29. Guidelines from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office would have the recount end by mid-December, giving the next governor slightly more than two weeks to prepare for office.