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Emmer takes election issue to Minnesota Supreme Court

Tom Emmer wants the Minnesota Supreme Court to make sure that the concept of one person, one vote was followed in this month's governor election.

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 and the state Republican Party asked the high court to order local election officials to reconcile the number of ballots cast in each of the state's 4,000 precincts with the number of voters. State GOP Chairman Tony Sutton said that the party has heard from 12 election judges who said that was not done.

"The most basic right of our election system is one vote per voter," Sutton said.

The petition filed today asks the Supreme Court to order the State Canvassing Board to make sure the voter numbers and ballots cast numbers are reconciled before a recount in the governor's race proceeds.

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

Emmer signed the 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.

Sutton said that he could not say if fixing what he called an "overvote" would help Emmer. He also said he had no idea how widespread the lack of vote reconciliation was on election night.

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.