(CNN) - Minnesota’s gubernatorial recount is nearly complete and although the vote totals won’t be certified for at least another week, Democrat Mark Dayton is emerging as the near-certain victor.
With over 93 percent of the ballots re-counted, Dayton has lost 17 votes from his November 2 total, while Republican Tom Emmer has gained 53. Dayton led Emmer by nearly 9,000 votes after Election Day.
After Thursday’s counting, Dayton held a more than 10,000-vote lead over Emmer. Even if every one of Emmer’s 735 challenged votes is ruled in his favor, the vote margin would still be too great for the state representative to overcome.
All but two of Minnesota’s 87 counties are still re-counting votes on Friday, and so far, over 60 percent of voters in those two counties have chosen Dayton over Emmer.
The secretary of state’s office also released an index Thursday night of some of the ballots challenged by both campaigns. Most show vote bubbles filled in for both candidates with one crossed out. At least one voter attempted to vote for every candidate on the ballot.
The state canvassing board will meet Dec. 8-10 to rule on the challenged ballots.