Tempers Flare During Minnesota Recount

Tony Trimble argues with legal consul for Mark Dayton during the recount

Video by Craig Stellmacher

Finding themselves understaffed and behind, Republicans are starting to show the stress of a Governor’s race recount that isn’t going their way. Wednesday,that stress erupted into a loud verbal discussion between Tony Trimble who is a lawyer for Republican Tom Emmer and Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith.

The rules say the Emmer campaign and the Mark Dayton campaign each may have two observers at the table when the ballots are counted out in piles of 25. The trouble is the Emmer campaign has fewer volunteers than the Dayton campaign and doesn’t always have two people available to watch the counting. The shortage of volunteers may be one of the reasons lawyer Trimble at one point threatened to sue if Hennepin County added more tables to do the counting. Hennepin County wanted to add the tables because thousands of frivolous ballot challenges from the Emmer campaign has slowed the counting. After Trimble’s threat, the County backed off from adding the tables.

Trimble and another Republican observer accused one of the Hennepin County election workers of being “partisan” for pointing out that a ballot was a clear vote for one candidate or another. It is the job of the election judges to “call” the ballot for one candidate or the other before counting begins.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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