A recount that has the potential to flip control of the Minnesota State Senate is in its second day, with Democrats seeking to reverse the result and gain back power.
The DFL lost control of the Senate in last month's election, as Republicans picked up the six seats they needed to take the majority.
But the result in Senate District 14, an area which includes St. Cloud, was called into question by DFLer Dan Wolgamott, who requested a recount after he fell by 148 votes to GOPer Jerry Relph.
After votes were counted in Benton and Sherburne counties on Monday, Tuesday's recount is taking place in Stearns County – the most populated area in the Senate district – with volunteers going through 30,000 ballots in a counting session that's expected to spill into Wednesday.
MPR News reports the DFL's loss was "somewhat unexpected" considering Democrats had a majority of nine, and tend to perform better in presidential years, when there's a higher turnout.
Judging by the early counts, it looks as though the Senate will be staying Republican, with only one ballot challenged out of the thousands counted on Monday, which is nowhere near enough if Wolgamott is going to overturn the advantage, MPR News notes.
Uptake MN reports that Wolgamott has picked up a few more votes on Tuesday, but again hasn't been making a significant dent in Relph's lead.
Kirk Pederson, an attorney representing Wolgamott, told the St. Cloud Times votes can be miscounted because a voter didn't fill the oval next to a candidate's name fully, an error that isn't always caught by the machines used to scan the ballots.
When announcing the recount, Wolgamott said: "In Minnesota every vote must be counted, in a recount this will be done by hand counting each ballot cast, because machines can count ballots to only a certain extent.
"I will request a recount in order to ensure that our voting process was as fair and accurate as Minnesotans expect it to be," he said.
Uptake MN is live-streaming the recount, which you can watch here.
Should, as it's expected, Relph remain the winner after the recount, it will put the Republicans in control of both the House and Senate in Minnesota, which will still be governed by Democratic Mark Dayton for the next two years.