Automatic recount in Minnesota governor’s race

The Star-Tribune reports.

The Minnesota governor’s race is so close it has come to this: another recount appears almost certain.

With fewer than 20 precincts left to report, DFLer Mark Dayton leads Republican Tom Emmer by less than one half of 1 percent — 43.67% to 43.24%.

You will recall that Target and other corporations donated to a group supporting Emmer.

Other Minnesota news:  the “stunning” Republican win of control in both houses of the state legislature.

UPDATE: Recount “skirmishing” has begun, according to a late report.

With all of the state’s 4,136 precincts reporting, Dayton leads Emmer by 8,854 votes, well within the margin of one-half of 1 percentage point that automatically triggers a recount under state law.

. . .

Republicans have hired Michael Toner, a Washington, D.C., former chairman of the Federal Elections Commission. Before that, he was chief counsel to the Republican National Committee in 2001 and general counsel to the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign. He also volunteered to help Pawlenty start his Freedom First Political Action Committee, which Pawlenty set up as he explores a run for president.

Tony Trimble, the state party’s general counsel, “is helping take the proper steps to ensure the ballots are secured and that we are going to be very, very aggressive in making sure that procedures are followed and it’s not just happy talk from bureaucrats at the State Office Building.”

UPDATE:  Here’s the state’s 2010 Recount Guide (PDF).

UPDATE: 11/4/10:  No end in sight.  Last night on Fox News Gov. Pawlenty noted that the Franken-Coleman recount wasn’t settled until the spring following the election.

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