Today’s UpTake: Minnesota Gubernatorial Recount Begins

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Recount Central

Minnesota’s long-awaited gubernatorial recount begins today, with Democratic-Farm-Labor candidate Mark Dayton leading Republican Tom Emmer by 8,770 votes, or 0.4162 percent of all ballots cast on Nov. 2. Just as we did during the Al Franken-Norm Coleman Senatorial recount marathon in 2008, The UpTake will cover this one, minute by minute.

We’ll air live feeds this morning at 9 a.m. of ballots being counted by hand at both the Hennepin County Government Center Auditorium in Minneapolis and the Ramsey County-Elections Division Office in St. Paul — Minnesota’s two most populous counties. Hennepin County will employ 25 teams for the recount, and Ramsey will use 10 teams. On account of the sheer volume of ballots to count here in the Twin Cities, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties will likely take all week, whereas other counties may finish by Wednesday. The UpTake also expects to take calls today and later this week from roving journalists and election observers around the state.

Here are a couple angles to watch: Will the Dayton and Emmer campaigns remain true to their word and not make frivolous challenges to ballots (as Norm Coleman’s team did by the thousands in 2008)? Will election workers understand all of the complex changes to the recount process that the campaigns asked for and were granted by the Secretary of State’s Office? Watch us live this week, and find out.

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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