Today’s UpTake: MN Supreme Court Jumps Into Recount Fray

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Recount Central

With the Minnesota gubernatorial recount set to begin in 10 days, Democratic-Farm-Labor candidate Mark Dayton still leads Republican Tom Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes — a number that hasn’t changed much since the Nov. 2 election. The field of players in this showdown looks to expand, as the state’s Supreme Court jumps into the mix. On Monday the Court will hear issues raised by the GOP, which alleges that the election vote totals are flawed because, in certain counties, the voter sign-in sheets were not properly reconciled with the number of votes cast. All interested parties, including the Secretary of State, the State Canvassing Board, and Dayton and Emmer’s teams have until 4 p.m. today to file a response. (Watch the Office of the Secretary of State’s recount training presentation here.) Then on Tuesday the State Canvassing Board will meet to approve the canvass totals.

The UpTake reported yesterday that the Minnesota Republican Party’s pre-recount petition to the State Supreme Court wreaks of partisanship. Many, and possibly all, of the 11 election judges who alleged in the petition that proper counting procedures were not followed are known Republicans. In fact, one of the sworn statements comes from a consultant paid by Second Congressional District Republican John Kline. Diana Bratlie has been known in the past to tell tall tales.

In other news yesterday, Larry Jacobs moderated a panel at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute yesterday that examined the state of judicial elections in Minnesota and the effects that money and politics have on them. The panelists included former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, Local Ministry Director for KKMS radio Gary Borgendale, and CEO at 180 Degrees, Inc. Sarah Walker. Meanwhile, at the Minneapolis Federal Building, peace activists gathered to protest the September FBI raids, and the news that three activists had been given subpoenas to appear before a Grand Jury in Chicago. At the White House, President Obama spoke about General Motors, the automobile giant which has risen from the ashes and is now a publicly-traded company once again.

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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