Dispute over frivolous challenges in Henn. Co.

Published 12:47 pm Monday, November 29, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS  — It didn’t take long for the recount of the Minnesota governor’s race to get testy in the state’s most populous county.

In Hennepin County, a dispute over the sorting of challenges deemed frivolous sent the candidates’ attorneys and top election officials into a closed-door meeting about 10 a.m.

Tony Trimble, an attorney for Republican Tom Emmer, says some of Emmer’s observers reported that those challenges weren’t being put in a separate pile and might be getting mixed in with candidate totals.

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County elections manager Rachel Smith said a handful of precincts had to be counted again because they hadn’t separated the frivolous challenges properly. Smith said she expected some hiccups because of the legal change this year that allowed officials to dub some challenges as frivolous.

Democrat Mark Dayton led Emmer by nearly 8,800 votes going into the recount.