One day after telling Northfield Patch that he was weighing all his options after being narrowly defeated in the Senate District 20 race, Republican candidate Mike Dudley on Thursday said he'll let the procedure move forward according to state statute.
Because the vote totals from Tuesday's election are within one-half of 1 percent of each other (50.03 percent for DFLer Kevin Dahle and 49.84 percent for Dudley), an automatic recount is triggered, according to Minnesota statute.
However, according to statute, a losing candidate may waive a recount by filing a written notice of waiver with the canvassing board.
As of Thursday morning, the Minnesota Secretary of State is reporting that Dudley is 78 votes behind Dahle, who was unofficially named the winner of the race.
The vote totals have changed in the hours and days since Dahle was unofficially named the victor.
WCCO and MPR reported just before 1 a.m. Wednesday that Dahle had won the race by 332 votes. At 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, the Secretary of State's website updated to show Dahle as the winner by 82 votes. Now the lead is down to 78 votes, with more than 41,000 votes cast in the race.
The vote total for the 1 a.m. Wednesday report (excluding write-in votes) was 40,390 votes. At 7:45 a.m, the total gained nearly 800 votes and went to 41,174 votes. Now, a day later, another four votes have been added to that total—all to Dudley's sum. The latest report shows 53 write-in votes. All results are unofficial until verified by a canvassing board.
"I have been getting a lot of calls from supporters urging me to go ahead with the recount as required by law," Dudley said Thursday.
Dahle told Patch that he was surprised to wake up Wednesday morning to see his lead had dwindled from 332 votes to 82.
At the time, he said if Dudley went ahead with the recount, he was happy to be on the plus side and would welcome the process to play out.
Dudley said he was told by the Secretary of State's Office that the cost of the recount is 3 cents per ballot. That would mean the recount would cost approximately $1,236.81.
The tentative date established for the recount is Nov. 28, according to Rice County Auditor Fran Windschitl. The date needs to be finalized with the Secretary of State.
Senate District 20
Precincts reporting: 46/46 (As of 11:37 a.m. Nov. 8, 2012)
20,628 50.03 Mike Dudley (R) 20,550 49.84 Write-in 53 .013