The Republican Party of Minnesota and Tom Emmer’s gubernatorial campaign want changes made to the recount rules ahead of the State Canvassing Board meeting on Tuesday. Specifically, Emmer wants Rule 8 changed to make inspection of challenged ballots the job of the five-member canvassing board and not the 87 county auditors. The move, which could cost more time in the recount process, comes after the Emmer campaign filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court to look for “phantom votes” in all 87 counties. Dayton called Emmer’s moves “desperate” in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio on Thursday.
“Seems to me Republicans are basically questioning the basic integrity of the election process in Minnesota,” said Dayton, who added that the system had a thorough check two years ago during the Franken-Coleman recount. “I think to just cast aspersions on this, I think basically that they are desperate, they are way behind.”
He added, “It’s not just throwing ‘Hail Marys.’ It’s throwing spitballs at the wall to see which ones will stick.”
Emmer’s newest volley in the pre-recount arena is to change the rule which says that Minnesota’s 87 county auditors will determine whether or not challenged ballots have merit or are frivolous. Emmer wants that task to be delegated to the 5-person canvassing board.
Emmer is also asking the rules to be amended to include a provision to look for “phantom votes,” the same issue the Emmer team has taken to the Supreme Court.
“We are requesting that the State Canvassing Board be the only body to decide the merits of a ballot challenge during the recount in accordance with state law. Additionally, we are requesting that local recount officials be directed to reconcile the number of ballots with the number of signatures present on the election day roster (both pre-registered voters and same-day registrants), as required by Minnesota Statute,” GOP chair Tony Sutton said in a statement Thursday.