GOP, DFL fire up the rhetoric for recount

November 11, 2010


DFLers and Republicans continued their saber rattling Wednesday as the state figures out who will be Minnesota’s next governor.

On the one side, DFLer Mark Dayton’s recount manager accused Republicans of a potential “strategy designed to hijack the will of Minnesota voters.” On the other, an attorney for Republican Tom Emmer claimed to have “lots of allegations” of voting irregularities that the campaign is “aggressively” investigating.

Dayton’s lead of nearly 9,000 votes is likely to trigger an automatic recount later this month. If Dayton still has a lead after that recount, Emmer could file a legal challenge, which would keep anyone from taking over for Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty in January.

Ken Martin, Dayton’s recount manager, said Wednesday that Dayton’s lead is “virtually insurmountable.” Emmer attorney Matt Haapoja, meanwhile, said he’s “optimistic” the process could change things.

On a day of relatively few new developments, the vote tallies for both candidates moved by inches, not miles.

In Ramsey County, the state’s second most-populous county, both men gained a few votes as the county’s canvassing board unanimously approved the results. Dayton finished with 105,498 votes, a gain of four from election night. Emmer wound up with 61,412 votes, a gain of three since election night.

If the statewide totals do not dramatically change by Nov. 23, a state canvassing board will order a hand recount of all ballots to check results.

Counties across the state have until Friday to certify their Election Day results. Most counties have finished and seen minuscule swings.

“It was a very lovely election,” said Cindy Reichert, Anoka County elections manager.

In public settings, Republicans have begun hinting at their strategy in the coming weeks.

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