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Republicans pay bill for governor race recount

Douglas County can clear an unpaid bill of $204.05 from its books.

That was how much the county charged the Minnesota Republican Party for its request for copies of documents during the recount of the Mark Dayton-Tom Emmer race for governor.

The recount wrapped up more than a month ago. The DFL Party, which requested the same documents, paid its bill immediately but the bill for the Republican Party lingered.

Last week, however, a spokesman from the Minnesota Republican Party said the GOP will soon be paying counties for copying and related costs.

Statewide, some counties complained that the Emmer campaign had not paid its bills, while Dayton did. Republican officials coordinated the Emmer recount effort.

When told by the newspaper that the Republican Party would be paying its bill, Vicki Doehling, Douglas County elections administrator, had a one-word reaction: "Good."

Overall, the state pays for the recount, but when the campaigns sought copies of documents, they were billed.

Both parties requested documents of practically everything related to the election in Douglas County and were particularly interested in absentee ballots, according to Doehling.

They wanted copies of the election judge's signatures, a public inspection list of the absentee ballots, location of absentee ballots, copies of the absentee ballot envelopes that came back as rejected or undeliverable, absentee ballot applications and several other documents.

The recount focused on absentee ballots and why some were not counted in the election. Douglas County had a total of 13 absentee ballots that were initially rejected, Doehling said.

The county later accepted eight replacement ballots and one of the absentee voters whose ballot was initially rejected ended up voting during the election.

That left four ballots that were ultimately rejected, Doehling said. The majority of those, she added, were either not signed by the voter or the required witness.

After the recount, the totals in Douglas County changed only slightly. Emmer, who was the clear winner in Douglas County with 52 percent of the vote, ended up with three more votes.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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