Ballot challenges could delay recount results

8:42 PM, Dec 1, 2010   |    comments
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  • Ballots counted by hand
  • Tom Emmer and Mark Dayton

STILLWATER, Minn. -- Sooner or later, the counting will stop, but so far the results in the Minnesota governor's race recount haven't changed. Washington County completed their part of the recount on Wednesday.

"We're very excited to be done," says Kevin Corbid, who is in charge of elections for Washington County.

During this recount, the Emmer camp has launched most of the ballot challenges, slowing things down a bit say election officials.

But what if the process slowed down even more?

Republicans could file a lawsuit and delay Dayton, a democrat, from getting his election certificate.

Remember the Senate race? After all the court challenges, it was almost July before Minnesota had a new Senator.

Political observers like law professor Dave Schultz say the stakes are high if republicans can keep Dayton from taking office as long as possible. The Minnesota Constitution allows Governor Pawlenty to stick around.

A Republican governor, a Republican-controlled House and Senate can get a lot of things done, maybe for an entire legislative session.

"They would have the first opportunity in over 40 years to control both the legislature and the Governor's office and potentially enact an agenda that they would like to enact," says Schultz.

Eliminating the budget deficit, resolving the voter identification issue and perhaps a constitutional campaign to ban same sex marriage are all hot topics Republicans have wanted to resolve for years. It could all be done, says Schultz, while the courts sort out the Governor's race.

Or it could all result in political backlash.

"In the process they also run the risk of alienating a lot of Minnesotans who might view this as just a naked political grab," says Schultz.

At this point in the recount, Dayton remains in the lead. Emmer's people have not said for sure whether they will launch a legal challenge, but haven't ruled the option out either.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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