What do Minnesotans fear more than the avalanche of negative ads leading up to an election? A recount of that election. If less than one-half of one-percent of the votes for Governor separate Mark Dayton from Tom Emmer, Minnesotans will see another statewide recount. An automatic recount is triggered when the race is that close unless the losing candidate waives the right to a recount.
As of 4 AM, unofficial results showed Democrat Mark Dayton ahead of Republican Tom Emmer on the hairy edge of that one-half of one-percent margin with 99 percent of the vote counted. The race would need to be closer than 10, 499 votes out of 2,09,825 cast. Dayton is leading Emmer by 9,324. Unless Dayton can widen his lead by about 1,175 votes, an automatic recount will be triggered.
If the final official count shows Dayton winning by .5% or more, there still could be a recount if Emmer and the Republican Party are willing to pay for one.
There’s a third option as well. A “test” recount. Emmer could ask that up to three precincts be recounted, pay for those recounts and then decide whether to go ahead with a statewide recount.
Minnesota’s last statewide recount between Senator Al Franken and now former Senator Norm Coleman lasted about two months and then was followed by an election contest trial that dragged on for another six months.
Either candidate could file an election contest lawsuit within five days of the canvassing board certifying the results. The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday November 23rd and declare a result no later than three days after completing the canvass.