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Beltrami County starts recount Monday

The next step in determining who is Minnesota's next governor begins Monday as ballots are recounted statewide.

Efforts begin 9 a.m. Monday in Beltrami County, where recount teams will work in the County Board Room at the County Administration Building.

Based on 2008 recount efforts for the U.S. Senate race -- in a higher voter-turnout presidential year -- Beltrami County Auditor Treasurer Kay Mack thinks the local count can be done by 4 p.m. Monday.

Five teams of five people each will count ballots. Three of the team members are either nonpartisan volunteers or county staff. The other two are observers from the DFL and Republican parties.

Counters will put ballots in piles either for Republican Tom Emmer or Democrat Mark Dayton. Other piles will take ballots that are for other candidates or for ballots challenged by either the DFL or GOP observer.

It's those challenged ballots that will be forwarded to St. Paul for the State Canvassing Board to investigate. The statewide recount is expected to be completed on Dec. 14. The next Canvassing Board meeting, Dec. 8, will start considering challenged ballots.

There were 16,187 ballots cast in Beltrami County on Nov. 2, says Mack. It amounts to a 65 percent turnout, with 24,832 registered voters as of 7 a.m. Election Day. Mack, figuring on 22,213 voters in 2008, says there will be 6,126 fewer voters to county.

In 2008, the recount in Beltrami County also took only one full day to complete.

Votes from Beltrami County as certified to the state had 7,526 cast for Dayton and 6,531 cast for Emmer. Some 1,900 votes were cast for other candidates.

Statewide going into the recount, Dayton led Emmer by 8,770 votes out of 2.1 million ballots cast.