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Emmer takes election issue to high court

The Tom Emmer campaign is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to order a state election board to consider irregularities in the number of ballots cast Nov. 2.

Emmer, the Republican governor candidate, said the campaign and Republican Party officials have heard many stories relating to more ballots being cast than voters who signed in on election day. Because of that, the party and the campaign today asked the high court to require the State Canvassing Board to consider those differences when it checks election returns beginning next week.

The board meets Tuesday and is expected to order a statewide hand recount of about 2 million ballots because the difference between Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton is less than 0.5 percent, small enough for a mandated state-funded recount. Dayton leads Emmer by less than 8,800 votes.

The canvassing board, which meets after every statewide election, expects to declare a winner by Dec. 14. However, the losing candidate could take the election to court.

"There are pools of votes where there are irregularities," Emmer told Forum Communications Co. today in his first interview with a journalist since election day.

Emmer signed a petition to the Supreme Court just before 1 p.m. today. It asks the court to order the canvassing board to reconcile the number of ballots with the number of voters, something that Emmer said was supposed to take place on election day.

In one western Twin Cities precinct, for instance, Emmer said that 900 voters signed in while 930 votes were cast. If there were one or two mistakes in each of the state's 4,000 precincts, "that is significant," he said.