Holding just his second press conference since Election Day, trailing Minnesota gubernatorial contender Tom Emmer (R) said Friday that he is not currently planning a post-recount legal challenge in the ongoing governor's race, but signaled that his final decision would rest on ascertaining the state Supreme Court's reasoning for rejecting a voter-counting petition that he filed before the hand recount began.
"I am not currently planning an election contest," said Emmer at a news conference Friday. "Before I would make any final decision as to a course of action, we must know what the Supreme Court's reasoning is for denying our petition," he added.
At issue in Emmer's petition was reconciliation -- the process the state goes through to make sure the number of ballots matches the number of voters who voted. Emmer's team argued that counties improperly counted how many people voted.
"The court has yet to issue an opinion, leaving the question of reconciliation unanswered," continued Emmer. "This fundamental question must be answered."
The hand recount is more than 93 percent complete and Democrat Mark Dayton's lead of around 9,000 votes does not appear to have decreased significantly.
Recognizing that he is unlikely to close that gap in the recount, Emmer sought to downplay its importance. "It has never been my contention that the hand recount would dramatically change the course of this election," he said.
"The recount is merely a step in the process that ensures there are no other irregularities that must be accounted for," he later added.
In an effort to expedite the recount process, Emmer also said he intended to withdraw any challenged ballot that he does not believe will "be upheld by the board." The state canvassing board is set to review challenges from both sides next week after the recount wraps up.