By Bob von Sternberg
Meeting less than an hour after Republican Tom Emmer conceded, the state canvassing board voted Wednesday to certify the original election night results making DFLer Mark Dayton the next governor of Minnesota.
The board signed the election certificate, in effect, declaring Dayton the winner, shortly after noon Wednesday by certifying the Election Night results, which showed Dayton with an 8,770 margin of victory. But under state law, he won't receive his certificate of election for another week.
Board members also noted the results after the recount, which they didn't officially certify: Dayton, 919,691, Emmer, 910,611, a margin of 9,080.
"He has conceded the race," said Eric Magnuson, Emmer's lead attorney and a former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, told the state canvassing board. "We want to be done now."
The board's work toward recounting the hotly-contested governor's race, which had taken center stage for most of the past month, was largely made irrelevant when Emmer announced Wednesday morning that he was conceding.
Members of the board Wednesday however argued about technicalities, but lawyers for both candidates pressed them to resolve the issue. "This has been a long and hard-fought battle," said Magnuson. "Now it's time to get this over. . .and move forward."
Dayton's attorney, Marc Elias, said he would "vastly prefer" that board members certify the results. "The people of Minnesota have waited a long time for this process to come to some conclusion," he said.
Afterwards, Magnuson said: "I think it worked very well. This was a very close election. We have a good system" in Minnesota.