Gov. race recount to begin Monday

Jessica Van Berkel

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

The recount process will begin Monday and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has set a Dec. 14 goal for the deadline. After the votes are recounted by hand, the state Canvassing Board will begin meeting Dec. 8 to examine ballots that were challenged by partisan representatives during the recount process. Administrative rule changes should lead to less challenged ballots than during the 2008 U.S. Senate recount.

If Emmer is still lagging after the recount, he can file a lawsuit within one week of its conclusion called an “election contest” to fight the twice-certified results. The Minnesota Supreme Court denied a petition from the Emmer campaign Monday to use a more stringent method to check the number of people who voted against the number of ballots cast, citing redundancy in the Republican argument. 

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

Three contested House races — districts 15b, 25b and 27a — will also be recounted.