ST. PAUL (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has denied a push by Republican Tom Emmer to force a pre-recount comparison of signed polling place rosters and vote tallies in the governor’s race.

The rapid decision came less than two hours after the high court heard arguments in the case Monday.

The ruling closes one avenue for Emmer as he seeks to overcome an 8,770 vote deficit to Democrat Mark Dayton. The race is headed for an automatic recount.

At issue was whether election administrators neglected to follow the law matching the number of voters and votes in each precinct.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (31)
  1. Mark from MNtaxwaste says:

    Why is it that WCCO removes all the comments they are not liberal left leaning?

    1. Left Leaner but Realistic says:

      Perhaps because the arguments from the radical right are idiotic?

      1. lindsi from GOP all the way! says:

        @left leaner
        do you not think YOUR statement makes YOU sound idiotic?
        You sound like one of those people who say “I hate Bush” but then back it up with a personal slam…he’s a jerk, he’s an idiot, etc
        Try providing an educated response!

      2. Mark from MNtaxwaste says:

        @Left Leanr, please change your screen name to scarecrow, because I wonder what you would say if you had a brain

    2. lindsi from GOP all the way! says:

      because WCCO is a part of the media and the media is almost always LIBERAL

      As for this….I think its disgraceful! The GOP was ROBBED w/ Coleman VS Franken
      and we are getting ROBBED yet again.
      Does anyone not find it interesting that the EXACT number of votes Franken was DOWN is the EXACT amount of votes he “gained” w/ the recount? Also the recount is done by SEIU….a VERY VERY liberal UNION

      1. russ says:

        actually, that’s not true. the Franken/Coleman recount did change the final count and by about as much as one could expect this recount to change the vote. something around 5-600 votes. there is also a fair chance that the Dayton lead expands rather than shrinks.

        while I can agree that no vote count will ever give 100% certainty, in this case, it’s a bit disingenuous to compare the two recounts.

  2. Judith Scoville says:

    Why wasn’t the issue of counting voter receipts raised in the 08 Senate recount? Obviously because it wasn’t a place where Coleman could hope to find the 100 or so votes he needed. Now Emmer thinks he’s going to find nearly 9,000 there? It is obvious that the sole reason for raising this issue is to slow down the recount and keep Pawlenty in office beyond Jan. 4.

    1. lindsi from GOP all the way! says:

      We could only be so lucky!

  3. John says:

    Judith, the reason this wasn’t raised in the 08 recount is because we didn’t know how widespread the problem was. The state has since (just recently) conceded that there were 17,000 more votes in MN than there were signatures in the 08 recount. Most of these were in high DFL leaning precincts. The law (which is what the GOP is saying must be followed) states this must be reconciled. To do that, the law says you go to the precincts and randomly take 17,000 ballots out of the count. Doing this in high DFL precincts, it’s clear Coleman would have prevailed, not a good solution for Mark Ricthie, so why bring it up. Again, the GOP wasn’t aware how bad the situation was, so they missed out. I don’t care if you are DFL or GOP, this should make you upset.

    1. Judith says:

      John, Where is the evidence that there were 17,000 more ballots than signatures? The issue here was not reconciling the number of voters and ballots, but counting the slips we get after signing in that we hand to the judge to get a ballot instead of counting the signatures in the book. Now, if election judges were passing out thousands of these slips without people signing in, don’t you think a Republican poll watcher would have noticed? Or other voters? Didn’t the Republican poll watchers watch as the number of votes and ballots were reconciled on election night? And if people weren’t there to watch, what is the basis of the allegation? Also, the administrative rule that allows counting the slips rather than the signatures was in place during Mary Kiffmeyer’s term as Secretary of State. If this administrative rule is so bad, why didn’t she do anything about it? Maybe she was too busy trying to keep students from voting.

    2. Ms T Mpls says:

      John, what the Emmer lawyers are failing to say is that it is “normal” to have more ballots cast in a precinct than voter roll signatures. It’s called “same day registration”.

      Precinct election judges will tell you that only pre-registered voters are on the printed voter roll. Same day registered voters are not. But both require an election receipt to receive a ballot. One by signing the roll, the other by filling out the registration form and proving they live in the precinct.

      Emmer lawyers are playing games to cast doubt. Watch Emmer’s lawyer at the Court news conference. He had several opportunities to explain the difference between the printed roll vs receipts and ballots. He choose not to. (I’m assuming he’s not that ignorant)

      Besides, they would never even head in this direction if they thought this was a “real” issue as it could also overturn some of the close House and Senate wins for the GOP. But they are only concerned about casting doubt in the governor’s election – pure and simple.

  4. Lin says:

    Apparently in Minnesota ,according to the GOP we are just to stupid to know how to vote.I mean if we did not vote for republicans then our vote does not count.This something we are suppose to get used to?

    1. lindsi from GOP all the way! says:

      well first off you have proven a point… it’s TOO stupid not to stupid….
      Also- I find it interesting that if the liberals make any comments its “free speech” and justified….yet if the GOP makes any comments it’s always seen as biased or out of line

      1. Mark from MNtaxwaste says:

        well said lindsi from GOP all the way!

  5. Paul says:

    O.K. John. Prove your figures and claims about 17,000 missing signatures. Prove this figure and the fact that “most of these were from DFL leaning precincts. It is easy to spread rumor, but most of these rumors are exactly that: Rumor!

  6. Mark says:

    This is just a waste of time & money as they are not going to find 8,000 votes for Emmer. They just want to push back the change to after Jan 4th!!!

    1. Mike says:

      John, thanks for the unbiased source of news….

  7. Smart voter says:

    Oh John, if only Minnesota Majority wasn’t a republican “think tank.” Also, they provide zero evidence of thos 40,000 claim, no news investigations, no data, no proof. If this were true, I assure you it would be somewhere other than that website

  8. This is NOT Florida says:

    Re: The Coleman/Franken recount, every complaint lodged by the GOP was shot down by every bipartisan canvassing board / judicial panel by a UNANIMOUS decision.

  9. WahingtonCountyVoter says:

    The Coleman/Franken recount was NOT done by SEIU. The recount, by state law, is conducted by the county election officials in each of the counties. Observers from each of the candidates were present (I was an observer for Franken) at each table where the ballots were counted. The entire re-count area is open to the public for observation. The recount is done in a highly transparent manner. ONLY county officials are allowed to touch the ballots. The insinuation that the recount is rigged or fixed is absurd.

    Relative to the reconciliation process . . .I’ve been an election judge in Washington county–and I can tell you what was done in the various precincts that I worked in. I’d find it very difficult to believe that thousands of ballots could be cast without reconciliation–I’d love to see a non-partisan reference to validate that claim.

    What is supposed to happen: A voter comes to vote. He/she signs the roster or if not already registered to vote, fills out the appropriate registration material and signs on a newly registered form. The voter is then given a numbered ballot “receipt” which he/she takes to the table where ballots are given out. The receipt is given to the election official, and the voter is given a ballot. After voting, the ballot is fed into the vote tabulation machine. The voting machine keeps a running total of the number of ballots it has read.

    Periodically thru-out the day, the head election judge verifies that the receipt number matches the number of ballots read. If there is a difference, it nearly always is a mis-read ballot in the “reject” bin of the machine.

    After the polls close, a manual count of the number of signatures on the roster is done. This number, plus the number of newly registered voters should equal the count of ballots from the machine, as well as the final number of ballot receipts issued. In several years of working elections, this has always matched –except once where there was one more ballot given out than counted. We assumed that some voter decided not to have his/her ballot read, and took it out of the polling place.

    I can’t say what’s done everywhere else, but the process has to be pretty similar. We have about 4000 precincts in the state–it would be awfully difficult to have a miscount of 10 at each precinct–and always in the direction of more ballots than voters.

    1. Mark from MNtaxwaste says:

      Thanks for showing your colors, but you just explained why we need the recount. If you have more votes than people, or less votes than the people who showed up. Something is wrong.

  10. AngryWithGOPRhetoric says:

    @Smart voter
    @This is NOT Florida

    Comments that actually make sense! I especially appreciated your comment, WashingtonCountyVoter.

  11. GDawg says:

    I look forward to Dayton’s veto’s!

    1. Mark from MNtaxwaste says:

      Again you really don’t know how the system works. Are you still blaming Pawlenty for your tax hike?

  12. Libby says:

    They did match the voters in each preceint they did it with the receipts that every voter gets after they sign in. The Supreme Court said that was sufficient

    1. lindsi from GOP all the way! says:

      of course they did…..look at the political agenda and party affiliations of the majority of the SC!

      1. Volunteer Election Worker says:

        @lindsi from GOP all the way!
        of course they did… they are sworn to administer the law impartially. I realize that may be a foreign concept to you. Also obviously foreign to you is the actual party affiliation of the MN Supreme Court but… here it is:

        Page: liberal
        Magnuson: conservative
        P. Anderson: liberal
        B. Anderson: conservative
        Meyer: independent
        Gildea: conservative
        Dietzen: conservative

        Now about that “agenda” of the Court????

  13. Volunteer Election Worker says:

    I also served as an election judge and WashingtonCountyVoter accurately describes the process. My Ramsey County precinct was reconciled and tallied perfectly.

    These GOP pundits who pull these absurd accusations out of the air are simply insulting. GOP Chair Tony Sutton reflectively called the election judges on November 2 “incompetent”. Thank you, sir, but I didn’t see you working a 17 hour day in a frigid elementary gym and take an oath to administer a fair and impartial election. I was proud to be a part of this election. We are far from “incompetent.”

  14. hmm says:

    Everyone get their tin foil hats out. It’s a conspiracy.

  15. Todd says:

    Minnesota Majority is a right wing financed organization, hardly unbiased. And no where did it say where they got the numbers they are throwing around. I agree with Volunteer Election Worker as I have know a couple of election night workers and they are both honest people and regardless of their affiliation would never ignore their oath. Give it up Emmer, the fat lady has sung. How much is this recount going to cost Mn taxpayers? If it were Dayton on the other side and he caused all this the GOP would be going nuts saying he is wasting taxpayer dollars.

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