Emmer Withdraws Nearly 2,600 Frivolous Challenges

By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Republican Tom Emmer’s attorneys withdrew nearly 2,600 frivolous challenges from Hennepin County Saturday, as the recount process continues.

Attorneys for Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton spent six hours examining the challenges, which will now go to the State Canvassing Board.

“I’m just really honestly happy to conclude that this Hennepin County recount is all done,” said Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith.

Of the 2,604 frivolous challenges from Emmer’s side, only 24 remained by the end of the day.

“The idea is not to make this complicated, it’s to get the right count,” said Eric Magnuson, Emmer’s lead attorney.

“We’re pleased that one more step in the process has been undertaken here,” said Charlie Nauen, a member of the Dayton recount team.

Some argue the plan to use table officials to differentiate between legitimate and frivolous challenges actually slows down a recount, rather than speeds it up.

“I think that the whole process of trying to give to the table officials the final call on what’s a frivolous and not a frivolous ballot [challenge] just probably didn’t work out as well as Secretary of State [Mark] Richie thought it would,” said Magnuson.

Dayton’s camp says the slowdown came with the Saturday challenge review. Emmer promised Friday that he would withdraw thousands of frivolous challenges.

“It could have been done during the week, just as part of the process. Instead we’re here today, and we all sat around, looked at over 2,600 frivolously-challenged ballots,” said Nauen.

It may be tedious, but it does allow for an accurate count of the votes. Emmer’s attorney said that’s key to the process.

“Once we figure out exactly what the ballot count is, then the representative (Emmer) will be able to make some choices as to where he goes from there,” said Magnuson.

Attorneys from both sides will also review frivolous challenges made in Renville and Dakota counties over the next few days.

WCCO-TV’s Lindsey Seavert Reports

  • MaryAnn

    Emmer should bow out gracefully. Instead of spending taxpaper’s money for this unnecessary recount. He will never get the 8000 plus votes he needs to overturn Dayton. To me, Emmer is making himself look more like a fool than a candidate I would trust and vote for.

  • Jeffrey Hiltner

    unless Emmer wants to drag the recount so Pawlenty will remain governor with a republican legislature

  • Ignorance must be bliss

    That is exactly what this is, Emmer is just a puppet at this point. Don’t worry though, when he drinks and drives he becomes a REAL BOY!!!!

  • Bobbygal

    flat…you need to be educated in your manners!

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  • Ignorance must be bliss

    Well Flat, Emmer can give the race up if he wants and a recount is not needed. So before you start yelling at others on an OPINOINS page, maybe take some of that education juice yourself.

  • Pavel

    Flat – you need to educated in your use of the English language as well.

  • Northside Charlie

    I support Emmer’s right to a recount. Where I draw the line is when it appears his only intention is to delay the seating of the winner of the election so Pawlenty can rubber stamp laws passed by a Republican legislature.

    • GD


  • Itsme

    I have witnessed the recount. It is a cmplete waste of time and should embarass the Emmer camp.

  • Tootie

    Yes….please waste more money!! You frickin’ idiots

  • Barry Margolis

    It’s not Dayton not Emmer’s fault that the margin triggered an automatic recount. Blame that bit of stupidity on the lawmakers. the recount rule was designed for close local races, not statewide races. Dayton margin of 7,000 to 8,000 is legit and all Emmer and his gang can or should do now, if to throw a hissy fit and chew the carpet.

  • Itsme2

    I also witnessed the recount and to have the Emmer rep challenge a vote because on the backside of the ballot a voter had written ‘Denny Heckler’ in one of the blank spaces was crazy.

  • Troy

    Emmer – you can suggest that the whole election process is flawed.. but really if you gave a damn or if any republicans gave a damn… you would have challenged the whole process prior to this vote reconciliation issue… at this point lick you ego (no wounds yet) and go back to Waconia….

  • M B

    I think that the Republican party has collectively gone off the deep end, and 2600 frivolous challenges just reinforces it.

    At least he had the sense of mind to withdraw them.

  • CJ

    After the recount concludes and the election committee calls it for Dayton if the Emmer camp pursues court action as expected the public outcry needs to be deafening. We proved 2 years ago that this system works when we had only a few hundred votes making the difference. No legal challenge should be pursued.

  • Tom E

    After they conclude this recount and they call it for Dayton we can all start crying because he is going to start to TAX the hell out of all of us. And we are going to pay him to do it!

  • ThomasD

    They all do Tom E – so maybe we need to be more honest and call a spade a spade. They tax and bill today. We have always played the delay until tomorrow game.
    I’m shifting to Independent Party. Period
    The GOP is totally lost right now

  • PO'dGOPVoter

    Politicians are puppets of the power _ certainly not of the people. Emmer’s allowed the GOP to ake him look extra petty. To bad. I voted for him – and many on GOP ticket. That’s ending.

  • Mark from mntaxwaste.com

    The GOP has lost more than a few points on this one, and than to punish the ones who supported the Independents. This will hurt them more than they know. I’m thinking about switching to the Tea Party once and for all. mark@mntaxwaste.com.

  • Mark from mntaxwaste.com

    The GOP is playing him like a puppet, dance Emmer dance for the GOP. He lost his credibility with me. mark@mntaxwaste.com

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