Minnesota hit the reset button today in another close election as workers began the tedious task of reviewing more than 2.1 million ballots in the governor's race—one at a time and under the watchful gaze of lawyers for Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer. The recount follows on the heels 2008's Al Franken/Norm Coleman standoff. All sides say they're eager to button up this election sooner than that debacle, but given the stakes, no one is taking the recount lightly.
Dayton hopes the recount validates a nearly 8,800-vote lead he had coming in, giving his party the governor's office for the first time in two decades. A come-from-behind Emmer win would give Republicans complete control of the Statehouse after the GOP won control of both legislative chambers in this month's election. The taxpayer-funded recount is automatic because Dayton's lead is within a half-percentage point. If all goes as planned, a winner could be certified by Dec. 14, although litigation could follow. (Read more Minnesota stories.)