Race for Minnesota governor expected to have automatic recount
By Ryan Gueningsman
Election night was a long night for the Emmer family of Delano.
And, like the rest of the state, they are still waiting to see if Tom Emmer is going to be Minnesota’s next governor.
Emmer is the Republican-endorsed candidate for governor and, as of press time, was 8,778 votes behind Mark Dayton in the bid to be Minnesota’s next governor.
As of Friday, the election was too close to call and is expected to head to an automatic recount.
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner, who received just under 12 percent of the vote, has conceded. No other candidate received more than 7,000 votes. The DFL-endorsed Dayton has 919,216 votes, and Emmer has 910,438 votes.
Emmer released the following statement Wednesday regarding the partial results of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election.
“ . . . this race is still too close to call. The margin that currently separates Senator Dayton and me is currently within the automatic recount trigger,” Emmer said. “There is a process in law that will ensure that we arrive at a conclusive result, ensuring that all valid votes are counted and the will of the voters is met.”
Aside from this statement and remarks made by Emmer just before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Emmer has laid low while representatives of each party plan their next moves. He concluded his campaign with a rally in Delano Tuesday morning, and was in attendence at his daughter’s volleyball game Thursday night.
Early Wednesday morning, Emmer thanked supporters at the Sheraton South hotel in Bloomington, and said “we’re not quite done yet. The numbers are moving in the right direction.”
Wednesday afternoon, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie reviewed election night 2010 and discussed the potential recounts in the governor’s race.
“More than 55 percent of Minnesota’s eligible voters went to the polls to cast ballots in federal, state, and local races,” said Ritchie. “While the results of yesterday’s election will not be official until the state canvassing board certifies the election, it now appears that three legislative House races and the governor’s race could potentially trigger automatic hand recounts.”
An automatic recount is triggered by Minnesota law (Minnesota Statutes M.S. 204C.35) when the margin between state, judicial, and federal candidates is less than one-half of 1 percent, according to Ritchie.
Should a recount in the governor’s race between Emmer and Dayton be triggered and the outcome not declared before the current term expires in January, the Minnesota Constitution provides in Article 5. Sec. 2 that, “The term of office for the governor and lieutenant governor is four years and until a successor is chosen and qualified.”
Governor Tim Pawlenty also issued a statement Wednesday regarding the pending results of Minnesota’s gubernatorial election.
“The hard work and participation of so many Minnesotans leading up to and throughout yesterday’s election affirms Minnesota’s civic-mindedness. While questions remain about the outcome of several contests, there is a process in place to provide the people of Minnesota with a final result as quickly as fairness and the law allows,” Pawlenty said.
“My administration is fully committed and prepared to accomplish the swift and orderly transition to the next governor as soon as a final determination is made. As required by Article V of the Minnesota Constitution, I will continue to serve as governor until a new governor takes the oath.”
County election officials are now proofing the unofficial results that have been submitted to Ritchie’s office. County canvassing boards will be meeting to certify county results Nov. 5 through Nov. 12.
The state canvassing board will convene Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 10 a.m. to certify the election results in the State Office Building, room 10.
The board is comprised of two Minnesota Supreme court justices, and two district court judges, and is chaired by the secretary of state.
The members of the state canvassing board are: Ritchie; Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justices Paul H. Anderson and David R. Stras; Assistant Chief Judge Denise Reilly, Fourth Judicial District; and Judge Gregg E. Johnson, Second Judicial District.
Election results remain unofficial until certified by the State Canvassing Board.
Proposed recount timeline announced
The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State released a proposed recount schedule Friday to be followed should a recount in the 2010 gubernatorial election be required by law and approved by the state canvassing board when it meets Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Initial meeting of the State Canvassing Board: Tuesday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. Room 10, State Office Building, St. Paul
• certification of election results
• determination of the need for any automatic recounts
• designation of state recount official
• adoption of a recount plan
Recount begins at locations around the state Monday, Nov. 29: 9 a.m.
(Locations to be decided)
Deadline for deputy recount officials to finish sorting the ballots Tuesday, Dec. 7
State Canvassing Board meetings:
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 9 a.m.
Thursday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m.
Friday, Dec. 10 1 p.m.
(Location to be decided)
• certification of any recounts in state House races
• determination of challenged ballots in the gubernatorial recount
State Canvassing Board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 14 (time and location to be decided)
• certification of gubernatorial election.