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County will follow Secretary of State's direction on recount

When the 2010 general election ballots were counted after the polls closed Nov. 2, Dakota County voters had decided Republican Tom Emmer was their choice for governor. In this county, Emmer received bout 76,000 votes compared to Dayton's 63,000 votes. Independence party candidate Tom Horner received about 21,000 votes.

That was not apparently so throughout the state, as Democrat Mark Dayton appeared to win a narrow victory -- by about 8,700 votes.

Because of the narrow margin, the State of Minnesota is ready for another manual recount of votes. The Minnesota State Canvassing Board will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, at the State Office Building in St. Paul.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced a possible recount schedule for locations around the state, including Dakota County.

In Dakota County, the recount would begin at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29, at the Dakota County administrative center in Hastings. There would be 10 teams of judges overseeing the recount. The process is under the Secretary of State's directives.

The county's ballots from all 141 precincts have been secured. They will be stored until the next election. Each of the ballots for the governor's race will be counted manually. As part of the recount process, there will be election judges and observers from the major parties present. Because this is a partisan ballot, observers must be present.

As each ballot is checked, it can be challenged. All ballots that are challenged will be placed in a separate stack and into an envelope. These ballots are forwarded to the Secretary of State's office for resolution.

A formal written document will be prepared about the process and submitted to the Secretary of State's office.

The deadline to finish counting the ballots is Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Proposed additional State Canvassing Board meetings are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 8, 9 and 10. A fourth could be held Tuesday, Dec. 14. At these meeting, the State Canvassing Board will make the determination on challenged ballots and certify election results.