County officials finish hand counting ballots

Hennepin County officials finished hand counting all the ballots cast on Election Day, joining Minnesota’s other 86 counties in completing the process on Friday.

James Nord

The first stage of MinnesotaâÄôs gubernatorial recount ended Friday as Hennepin County finished hand tallying roughly 470,000 ballots cast on Election Day and joined the stateâÄôs other 86 counties in taking a breather before the State Canvassing Board meets next week.

Ramsey County, the second most populous in the state, finished earlier in the day âÄî well before the Monday deadline established for all counties by the Board.

Attorneys for both candidates âÄîTom Emmer and Mark Dayton âÄî appeared before the Board Friday while the recount progressed as part of an unscheduled meeting meant to address the large influx of âÄúfrivolousâÄù ballot challenges originating from the Emmer campaign.

Statewide, the campaign has made at least 2,845 challenges that election officials have deemed frivolous. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie expressed irritation at the high number in the beginning of the meeting. The Dayton campaign withdrew all of its frivolously challenged ballots Thursday.