The Republican Party of Minnesota and Tom Emmer’s gubernatorial campaign have filed a petition with the state’s Supreme Court, alleging that some election judges did not follow the rules when tallying votes. Emmer’s argument is that improper record-keeping resulted in extra votes being counted, and he wants the matter addressed before the state’s canvassing board certifies the results. But the Minnesota Independent reports that the “vast majority” of the witnesses in the complaint have ties to the Republican Party or the Tea Party movement.
Democrat Mark Dayton leads Emmer by about 8,700 votes, which is close enough to trigger an automatic recount. The canvassing board is scheduled to certify the results on November 23, with a recount slated to begin November 29.
Here’s a list of the witnesses identified by the Independent:
- Joel Burns: Co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots of the Twin Cities. Campaign Chair for Republican Deanna Boss who ran for the state House in Minneapolis.
- John Larkin: Founder of Tea Party group The 56 Club.
- Glydewell Burdick: Co-chair of the Senate District 44 Republicans in the Golden Valley area. Member of the Republican Party of Minnesota Health Care Coalition
- Diana Bratlie: Delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention. Paid researcher for Rep. John Kline’s re-election campaign in 2008.
- Albin Dittli: Attended a state GOP convention in 2005.
A number of other witnesses have given money to Republican candidates. The Independent reports that only two of the witnesses have no connection to the GOP.
“What this does is enhance the suspicion that this is really based on political factors,” Professor David Schultz of Hamline University told the Independent.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Supreme Court is moving quickly to address the complaint. It has requested all related filings by submitted by 4 p.m. Friday, and will hear oral arguments, if necessary, on Monday.