Canvassing board certifies Mark Dayton as governor with original vote totals

Mark Dayton was, indeed, elected governor on Nov. 2, the state Canvassing Board decided today, following Tom Emmer’s concession this morning and his decision to waive the recount that’s already happened.

That was the easy part for the board.

The big problem was: Which vote totals to use? The original vote totals and the totals from the state-wide recount, both show Dayton winning, but by slightly different amounts.

Because the recount is complete, and all challenges by both sides dropped, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie initially proposed that the board certify the election using the new recount numbers. He said the recount numbers are more accurate, and the board should approve the most accurate numbers possible, because it’s the right thing to do, and because it would prevent anyone else from challenging the election based on the fact that there are newer vote totals available.

But others, including a representative of the attorney general’s office said the law calls for certification of the original vote count.

So that’s what they decided to do, certify the original tally, but make note of the recount results for history’s sake. They signed the certification just after noon.

Board members joked about the matter: Associate Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson said it sounded a bit like Roger Maris — who in baseball records used to have an asterisk next to his single-season home run record noting that he’d played in more games than Babe Ruth.

“Or Barry Bonds,” Anderson said.

Representatives of both candidates agreed with the move to certify the original results.

Emmer’s attorney, former state Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson, said the race is over, the recount waived, and asked that the board just certify the original totals and let everyone move on.

“We want to bring this to a conclusion as quickly as possible; we thought waiver [of the recount] would do it. Under the law, you should certify the results of the original canvass, so the election is over and we can move forward.”

And he said the election process worked well and that the state has a good system.

Dayton’s attorney, Marc Elias, said: “The people of Minnesota have waited a long time for this process to come to some conclusion.”

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