Southern Minnesota counties still wait for Emmer recount payments


In Bills are coming due for recount, the Mankato Free Press reports:

Area counties are waiting for thousands of dollars in compensation from the Tom Emmer camp for added costs associated with the governor’s race recount.

While the state provides a small payment based on the number of ballots county officials had to recount, larger bills are pending for Emmer’s camp, which requested a mass of paperwork from election officials. . .

. . .”I sent bills for $800, of which Dayton paid and Emmer did not. I have requested at least three times, where’s my payment, and they’ve responded to nothing,” [ Patty O’Connor, Blue Earth County elections director said].

Recently, Emmer’s recount attorney, Tony Trimble, has told counties to send the bills to the Republican Party for payment, O’Connor said. . . .

According to the article, the Emmer campaign owes Brown County $1,441; bills are also due to Waseca and Martin County. Some counties, like LeSueur, held off copying the materials until payments came.

Watonwan County received a payment:

Watonwan County Auditor Don Kuhlman is the only area official that already got paid by Emmer’s campaign. Kuhlman called ahead to say he would deliver the documents the next day if they handed him a check. They did.

Kuhlman made two sets of 2,200 copies of documents. “We only had 4,282 voters, so we got more documents than we had voters.” The county spent about $1,700 on staff cost and copying charges. 

Southern Minnesota county officials aren’t happy about Republican officials bad mouthing their efforts to conduct fair elections:

[Brown County Auditor Marlin] Helget said he resented party officials who tried to suggest major problems with how counties handled elections.

“The part that grinds me. They’re telling everyone that we election officials are incompetent and making all kinds of mistakes.”  

There’s little evidence of incompetence on the part of folks like Helget. Now, it’s time for the Emmer campaign and the Republican Party of Minnesota to pay cash-strapped rural counties.

The party’s unpaid bills to counties were first reported b KEYC-TV, Mankato’s local CBS/FOX affiliate. Bluestem posted about the earlier report in KEYC-Mankato investigates: MNGOP owes So. MN counties for election data request.