It’s day four of the recount and 82 out of the 87 Minnesota counties have finished hand-counting ballots. That’s more than 84 percent of ballots cast. Without a major surprise, Tom Emmer cannot find enough votes to overtake Dayton’s almost 9,000-vote lead.
Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis counties are still counting ballots.
Questions remain about the Republican Party’s goal. The number of challenged ballots by Emmer, most of them deemed to be frivolous, calls into question his motive. Election expert Professor Ned Foley described how challenged ballots benefit Republicans regardless if they are trying to win the election still or not.
“If you can’t demonstrate a number of questionable ballots that are equivalent to the margin of victory, it’s a non-starter. If the numbers aren’t there, you can’t win.” However, he said, “if your goal is to delay — not win — you could plead the case to eat up time and run out the clock.”
Republicans have accused Hennepin County elections administrator Rachel Smith of intimidating them. Smith told the Pioneer Press she doesn’t work for either party, but for the citizens of Hennepin County. 98 percent of ballot challenges in the county have come from the Republican side, and even Emmer supporters are getting tired of his strategy.
“I’m an Emmer supporter, but I think what’s going on here is a bunch of nonsense,” said Steven Camp, a Robbinsdale resident and small-business owner who worked as a Hennepin County table official.
Photo credit: Chuckumentary