Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL -- Recount 2010 started quietly Monday, with one exception, as Mark Dayton picked up a mere 24 votes in the Minnesota governor race. Democrat Dayton extended his lead over Republican Tom Emmer to 8,794 votes out of 2.1 million ballots cast.
ST. PAUL -- Nearly 70 counties have finished recounting votes in the Minnesota governor race, with Mark Dayton's camp claiming he picked up 177 votes in the first day. Monday night's unofficial secretary of state tally showed that the Democratic hopeful had gained 24 votes on Republican Tom Emmer. About half of the state's Nov. 2 ballots have been recounted and there is no evidence that Emmer has made inroads into Dayton's nearly 9,000-vote lead. While he has about 2,000 volunteers and staffers around the state watching recounts, Dayton headed to Washington, D.C.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's least-populated counties wasted no time today recounting their portion of 2.1 million ballots in the governor's race. Cook, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Wilkin, Jackson, Norman, Cottonwood, Wadena, Watonwan, Rock, Red Lake, Lincoln and Traverse counties wrapped up their work by early afternoon. Many other counties, mostly outside of the Twin Cities, were expected to finish their work by day's end. Early reports indicated that vote totals for Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton were changing little.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans remember all too well the days, weeks, months of squabbling over ballots two years ago. There were ballots with stray marks, raising in some minds a question about who those voters actually picked in the 2008 U.S. Senate race. In a classic example, the oval next to Norm Coleman's name was fully filled in, but there was a little mark in the oval next to Al Franken's name. The State Canvassing Board decided that vote belonged to Coleman. Then there were the ballots where voters appeared to be making political, or merely humorous, statements.
ST. PAUL -- Governor hopeful Tom Emmer lost a Supreme Court ruling Monday as an election board prepares to order 2.1 million ballots Minnesotans cast in the race to be recounted. "Those numbers are not going to change much at all now," said former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, who leads Emmer by 8,770 votes. Dayton stopped short of declaring victory. While Democrat Dayton continued a series of meetings preparing to become governor on Jan.
New Republican Minnesota legislative leaders picked committee chairmen with a lot of time in the Capitol, with little legislative experience and from many parts of the state. As could be expected, Democratic strongholds like northeastern Minnesota, Minneapolis and St.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Supreme Court this afternoon will hear arguments in Tom Emmer's case that claims not all 4,136 precincts' election judges made sure the number of ballots cast in the Nov. 2 election matched the number of people who voted. However, Chief Justice Lorie Gildea's order setting up today's hearing did not indicate when a decision can be expected in the governor's race case. Gildea released her order this morning. Emmer claims that since the proper reconciliation between ballots and voters was not done that the State Canvassing Board should do that job.
ST. PAUL -- It is a good thing that Tom Bakk is a carpenter. As new Senate minority leader, Bakk faces a major rebuilding task, beginning with morale and ending with the 2012 election when Democratic-Farmer-Laborites hope to craft a majority. Senate Republicans took a 37-30 majority in the Nov. 2 election, kicking Democrats out of that position for the first time in three decades. More than a third of the Senate will be newly elected when the 2011 session convenes at noon Jan.
ST. PAUL -- Tom Emmer made it clear in his first post-election newspaper interview that his job is different than that of the Republican Party chairman. While Chairman Tony Sutton has delivered impassioned arguments about how bad the Nov. 2 election was conducted, Emmer took a step back. He said Sutton had to do his thing, but the candidate himself said that his job is to be satisfied that all the votes were counted that should have been counted.