Democrat Jim Graves, declared the loser of the 6th Congressional District race against Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, tweeted early Wednesday that a recount is likely. “See you in a few hours,” he said. Graves was trailing Bachmann by about 3,900 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting on Wednesday morning. The Associated Press called the race for Bachmann just before 4 a.m.
If there is a recount, Graves would likely have to pay for it. State law allows for an automatic recount only when the difference in the two candidates makes up less than one half of 1 percent of the total votes cast. The difference in the Graves-Bachmann race is about 1 percent of the 356,000 votes cast.
The last automatic recount for a major office in Minnesota was in the 2010 governor’s race, when DFL Gov. Mark Dayton beat Republican Tom Emmer by fewer than 9,000 votes. There was also an automatic recount in the U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken. Franken ultimately won the seat.