Tom Emmer lost his state Supreme Court challenge in the governor's race recount last week. And by the end of the day on Monday, as the hand count got under way, he was still losing to Mark Dayton.
In fact, the Secretary of State's office added another 24 votes to Dayton's column, compared to Election Day returns.[jump]
Eagle-eyed representatives from both candidate's campaigns are on hand at recount locations around the state to challenge any ballot deemed unclear in the hopes of scrounging together more votes. To that end, Dayton's team had challenged 86 on Monday, while Emmer's team challenged 281, all to be argued over later.
Most of Emmer's challenges, have been deemed frivolous. Case in point: An Emmer representative in Washington County challenged a ballot in which the voter hadn't marked a preference for any candidate. That, the challenger said, could be a vote for Emmer.
Team Dayton is scoffing at the Republican tactics.
"We hope to continue to keep our number of frivolous challenges below 5 percent," Dayton lawyer David Lillehaug said wryly.
Still, all this is small ball. If Republican Emmer has any hope of surpassing Democrat Dayton's roughly 8,800 vote lead, his team's going to swing for the fences before the process winds down.
The Secretary of State's plans to certify a winner on Dec. 14.