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Board certifies MN election results; House recounts still possible

A voter heads into Oak View Elementary School in Maple Grove Nov. 3. The State Canvassing Board unanimously certified Minnesota's 2020 General Election results Tuesday. Photo by Paul Battaglia
A voter heads into Oak View Elementary School in Maple Grove Nov. 3. The State Canvassing Board unanimously certified Minnesota's 2020 General Election results Tuesday. Photo by Paul Battaglia

Confirmation of all House election results is complete. However, recounts could still occur in at least three contests.

The State Canvassing Board unanimously certified the 2020 General Election results Tuesday, including state and judicial offices; the U.S. Senate race; and eight U.S. House of Representatives’ races.

“The election was secure on multiple levels,” said Secretary of State Steve Simon. “As of today, there have been no reports to the Office of the Secretary of State of particularized fraud or voter misconduct. Minnesota’s record of election integrity has been upheld. As of today, there is no evidence of any successful attempt by any unauthorized source, any adversary and so forth, to infiltrate election infrastructure.”

As things currently stand in Minnesota, the DFL will have a 70-64 seat advantage in the House when the 2021 session begins Jan. 5. However, by law, three races separated by less than one-half of 1 percent are eligible for publicly funded recounts if requested by the losing candidate by Nov. 30:

  • 6A: Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL-Hibbing) leads Republican Robert Farnsworth 10,781-10,741 (50.04%-49.85%);
  • 19A: Republican Susan Akland leads Rep. Jeff Brand (DFL-St. Peter) 11,621-11,510 (50.15%-49.67%); and
  • 38BRep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL-White Bear Township) leads Republican Elliott Engen 13,906-13,808 (50.12%-49.77%).

Candidates can pay for a recount themselves for larger margins.

[MORE: Contingent recount plans]

State Canvassing Board meeting (Remote Meeting) 11/24/20

More than 3.29 million Minnesotans cast a ballot in November’s election, more than 1.91 million via absentee ballot, said State Elections Director David Maeda. Simon said the shade under 79.96% voter turnout was not only the best in the country, but highest in Minnesota since 1956.

By comparison, almost 2.97 million votes were cast in the 2016 election, the last year the presidency was on the ballot.

[MORE: View the state canvassing report; post-election review report]

The New House Republican caucus and others filed a lawsuit Monday seeking a temporary restraining order to postpone the result certification.

In a statement, three caucus members said, in part, “Throughout 2020, Secretary Simon illegally altered Minnesota’s election laws. His office issued unlawful consent decrees that greatly affected the rules that govern absentee ballots and who can assist people at the polls. To circumvent the Minnesota Legislature and unilaterally change election law is entirely unconstitutional. This abuse of power must be addressed.”

In a Tuesday ruling, Chief Justice Lorie Gildea ordered all respondents be served a copy of the petition by 4:30 p.m. today, with any response memos due by 9 a.m. Nov. 30.


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