Representatives of Republican candidate Tom Emmer continued today to mount hundreds of challenges in Hennepin County during the gubernatorial recount.
The challenges — now exceeding 1,200 in the state’s largest county — are slowing the process, so county Elections Manager Rachel Smith attempted to increase the number of counting tables from 25 to 30.
She is hoping to have the recount of more than 400,000 votes completed by Monday. She has set aside time on Saturday and, possibly, Sunday.
But Emmer lawyer Tony Trimble objected to the addition of tables, and, according to a report by the UpTake’s Craig Martin Stellmacher “threatened to go to court.”
Stellmacher also reported that Emmer’s side is lacking in enough volunteers to staff the current 25 tables at all times. Adding more tables could stretch the Emmer campaign.
Smith — former Anoka County elections chief, former Humphrey Institute elections expert and considered among the state’s best county elections managers — has been frustrated by the continuing Emmer challenges. At one table, 81 ballots were challenged because there were write-in votes for candidates other than the governor; Emmer representatives were calling the write-ins “identifying marks.” That’s not how the law reads.
GOP chairman Tony Sutton, in a release, lashed out at Smith, claiming she has “repeatedly inserted herself into the action by siding with the Dayton campaign … Smith’s maneuvering sends a chilling signal to all Minnesotans who believe in fair play for all sides … We will not be intimidated by Smith.”