Gubernatorial recount will kick off on Monday

The state canvassing board approved Mark Dayton’s 8,770 vote lead on Tuesday.

by James Nord

The recount is set. Democrat Mark DaytonâÄôs 8,770-vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer is within the half percent margin that triggers an automatic recount in Minnesota, according to the state canvassing board, which certified the results Tuesday.

The recount process will begin Monday, allowing the board a break for Thanksgiving.

After the 2.1 million votes cast are recounted by hand, the board will reconvene Dec. 8 to examine ballots challenged by partisan representatives.

Three contested state House races will also be recounted.

The new governor âÄî whoever it may be âÄî is set to take office Jan. 3. Gov. Tim Pawlenty will remain in office if delays occur, though heâÄôs said he hopes the recount process wraps up quickly.

Administrative rule changes should lead to less challenged ballots than the 2008 U.S. Senate recount.

More care among voters could also contribute to fewer challenged ballots, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said. He expects between 700 and 800 challenges, roughly 300 less than in 2008.

“The citizens have been at least put on alert that it really matters, and donâÄôt go treating the ballot as the place to put the shopping list and stuff like that, which happened last time,” he said.

The recount is scheduled to conclude Dec. 14.

If Emmer is still lagging after the recount, he can file a lawsuit, called an “election contest,” within one week of its conclusion to fight the twice-certified results.

The Minnesota Supreme Court denied a petition from the Emmer campaign Monday. Republican lawyers took issue with certain practices used to ensure the total vote count corresponds with the number of voters. In some counties, “election receipts” were used instead of votersâÄô signatures. Every voter must sign in at the precinct when they cast a ballot in order to ensure election accuracy, receiving a voter receipt after signing the register.

The court argued both constitute roughly the same thing.