Lots of legal filings today as lawyers race recount paperwork deadline

Expect a flurry of legal activity today as all sorts of interested parties in the governor’s post-election race toward a 4 p.m. Minnesota Supreme Court filing deadline.

The court established the end-of-day finish line for Mark Dayton’s lawyers, county officials and any other entity eager to respond to Republican Tom Emmer’s petition, which alleges that elections officials in three counties didn’t properly “reconcile” the number of voters and votes in 10 precincts.

Meanwhile late Thursday, the Emmer side also sought to have all challenges of ballots during the recount relative to voter intent occur before the five-person State Canvassing Board and not at the various recount locations. It would, it seems, take decisions out of the hands of local elections officials about what is a frivolous challenge.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson previewed that he wants to argue that position before the board next Tuesday.

The Emmer request cites a contradiction between recount guidelines established by the Secretary of State’s Office and new rules put in place after the 2008 Al Franken-Norm Coleman recount. Those rules sought to limit “frivolous” challenges during recounts at the localized recount sites.

Here’s Magnuson’s letter (PDF) to the canvassing board.

Expect the Dayton side to respond fully to both Emmer filings.

Officials from Ramsey and Hennepin counties also are expected to file affidavits supporting their method of reconciling votes using voter receipts.

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