Today’s UpTake: Nonpartisan Groups Observe Recount

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Today, nonpartisan groups will jump into the fray. Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. at the State Capitol to announce that they are organizing a non-partisan observation of the upcoming 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial recount. This is modeled after a similar effort that was organized by all three groups during the 2008 Franken-Coleman recount. Watch the news conference live at The UpTake.

Several recount storylines developed yesterday at the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute’s panel discussion. Moderator Larry Jacobs led election managers from Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties — Rachel Smith, Joseph Mansky and Kevin Corbid — in a “Recount 101 seminar” including the basic steps such as canvass hearings and post-election audits.

Then, attorneys David Lillehaug, who will represent Democrat Mark Dayton, and Fritz Knaak, who represented Republican Norm Coleman in the 2008 recount, offered their perspectives. Lillehaug wondered aloud who will drive the Republican effort in this recount: Tom Emmer or the party at large? Lillehaug also questioned Emmer’s statement that he’s picked up 1,000 votes since the Nov. 2 election, and foretold of storm clouds on the horizon, alluding to a Minneapolis Star Tribune’s quote of a Republican operative who wants to “keep this recount going as long as possible” to provide “opportunities for us in the upcoming legislative session.”

Yesterday The UpTake also published videos of activists in Eden Prairie delivering unemployed worker petitions to Congressman Erik Paulsen, and a montage of election-day videos with folks on Minneapolis’ multi-ethnic Lake Street, whom we asked why voting turnout is low.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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