Dayton Recount Team Defends Integrity of Minnesota Election, Brings Elias On Board

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Marc Elias during Coleman Franken Recount Dec. 23, 2008

Marc Elias during Coleman Franken Recount Dec. 23, 2008

A press release today from the Dayton recount team announced that it was filing a brief with the Minnesota Supreme Court to oppose the Republican petition, saying that “the allegations made in the petition filed by (GOP gubernatorial hopeful Tom) Emmer and his team would only attempt to cast aspersions on Minnesota’s election system — one of the most admired and most closely observed in the world.” The Dayton team also announced that election protection attorney Marc Elias was being added to the ticket. Elias is a national expert on election and recount law and was instrumental in Al Franken’s 312-vote victory over Norm Coleman in the 2008 Senatorial race. Elias joins Minnesota attorneys Charlie Nauen and David Lillehaug (also part of Franken’s team) in an effort to ensure the fairness of the recount and to have Dayton seated by Jan. 3 of next year.

Dayton Recount Director Ken Martin lashed out at the Republican Party, accusing the GOP of trying “to take away votes that have been cast, change election laws and delay the state-mandated recount by filing briefs with the Minnesota Supreme Court.” In a press release by the Dayton team today, Martin added:

“These claims made by the other side should be dismissed. Their petitions contain unfounded allegations of error, lacking specifics needed for this kind of request, and would merely disrupt and delay the certification process through the unwarranted disenfranchisement of voters. This effort is both misguided and unjust. Voters are entitled to have their votes counted and to timely representation by the officials they have elected. … “By bringing this up now, they’re acting like a four-year-old who just lost playing Candyland — they want to change the rules when they find out they lost. That’s not how elections work in Minnesota. We play by the rules.”

Mark Dayton currently holds a lead of 8,755 votes over Tom Emmer. The State Supreme Court may hold a hearing on Monday afternoon that addresses the Republican petition, and the State Canvassing Board meets on Tuesday morning (The UpTake will cover both of those events). The recount itself is scheduled to begin 10 days from now.

Here’s the brief filed today by Dayton attorneys Marc Elias, Charlie Nauen and David Lillehaug:


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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