In Willmar recount, a slight lead preserved by Emmer
WILLMAR -- Republican Tom Emmer retained his lead over Democrat Mark Dayton in the race for Minnesota governor during the recount Monday of ballots cast in Willmar's 12 voting precincts during the Nov. 2 general election.
The hand recount at Willmar City Offices re-sulted in Emmer receiving 2,909 votes, un-changed from the general election total.
Dayton's total inched up 2 votes from 2,827 to 2,829.
Emmer actually lost 1 vote in Ward 2 Precinct 2, going from 363 to 362, but he gained 1 vote in Ward 2 Precinct 3, going from 399 to 400.
Also in Ward 2 Precinct 3, Dayton gained 2 votes, going from 341 to 343.
City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday could not offer an explanation for the new totals after election judges recounted the ballots three times in Ward 2 Precinct 2 and recounted the ballots twice in Ward 2 Precinct 3.
Otherwise, he said, "everything else (in the other 10 precincts) was an absolute dead match.''
Halliday had three groups of election judges counting ballots. The election judge counting each pile of ballots was watched by a Dayton campaign observer and an Emmer campaign observer. The Dayton campaign had eight observers and the Emmer campaign had three observers at the recount in Willmar.
Halliday said the recount went smoothly.