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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Minnesota State University, Mankato,
Memorial Library, Southern Minnesota Historical Center
Contested election of Elmer L. Andersen to office of governor of State of Minnesota, 1962-1963.
SSMHC Manuscript Collection 125

Contested election of Elmer L. Andersen to office of governor of State of Minnesota, 1962-1963. SMHC Manuscript Collection 125. 1 Archives Boxes, 20 volumes, .35 Cubic Feet.


The Contested election of Elmer L. Andersen to office of governor of State of Minnesota collection contains a twenty-volume transcript of the proceedings for the hearing held in Ramsey County District Court concerning the contested election. The hearings occurred between December 1962 and March 1963. Following the hearings, Karl F. Rolvaag, a candidate for the Democratic-Farmer-Laborite Party (D.F.L.), gained a ninety-one-vote edge, and as a result, Rolvaag replaced Andersen as Minnesota's Governor.

Historical Note:

The close election results in the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1962 between Republican Elmer Andersen and the D.F.L. candidate Karl Rolvaag caused the two political parties to immediately recanvass ballots to gain more votes for their prospective candidates. The State Canvassing Board, in an attempt to determine the election's winner, asked the Minnesota Supreme Court whether amended returns from county canvassing boards should be accepted.

Acknowledging irregularities, Chief Justice Oscar Knutson on 29 December 1962 declared the court's decision by ordering the State Canvassing Board to certify Andersen the election's winner by 142 votes. However, on 3 December 1962 in Freeborn County, Rolvaag filed a contest and requested a statewide recount. Republicans requested the venue of the recount be moved from Freeborn County to the Ramsey County District Court and the Supreme Court ordered the change in venue. The trial began on 10 December 1962 and a physical recount began on 17 December and lasted until 9 January 1963.

Following the recount, the judges examined charges of irregularities in the conduct of the election and problems with the ballots. The court ruled in the judgment over the disputed ballots and gave Rolvaag a ninety-one-vote victory over Andersen. On 21 March 1963 following Republican attempts to have the recount voided, the judges signed an order directing a certificate of election be given to Rolvaag and thereby making him the governor.

Information obtained from:
Stinnet, Ronald F. and Charles H. Backstrom. Recount. Washington D.C.: National Publishers, Inc., 1964.

Scope and Content:

The twenty-volume transcript of the Ramsey County District Court hearing contains information regarding the counting and disposition of disputed or challenged ballots. The papers are in chronological order from 10 December 1962 to 19 March 1963. The transcript ends on 19 March with the panel of three judges denying all motion by Republicans for a dismissal of the proceedings. As a result of the court's decision Rolvaag became the state's governor. The 21 March 1963 order directing that a certificate of election be given to Rolvaag is not part of the transcript or collection.


There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Citation:

Contested election of Elmer L. Andersen to office of governor of State of Minnesota, 1962-1963. SMHC Manuscript Collection 125, Southern Minnesota Historical Center, Memorial Library, Minnesota State University, Mankato.


The Republican State Central Committee donated this collection to the Minnesota Historical Society. The collection was then transferred to the Southern Minnesota Historical Center in 1973.

Processed By:

Archive's staff processed this collection in May 1975. Finding aid revised by Jeff A. Jenson November 2001.

Related Collections:

It has been determined that there are similar manuscript collections about the Contested election of Elmer L. Andersen to office of governor of State of Minnesota available at the Minnesota Historical Society.

LCSH Subject Headings:

Rolvaag, Karl F., 1913-.
Andersen, Elmer L., 1910-.
Minnesota--Governors--Contested elections.

SMHC Manuscript Collection 125


Volume One, 10 December 1962 – 14 January 1963


Volume Two, 21 January 1963 – 23 January 1963


Volume Three, 5 February 1963 – 19 February 1963


Volume Four, 25 February 1963


Volume Five, 26 February 1963


Volume Six, 27 February 1963


Volume Seven, 28 February 1963


Volume Eight, 1 March 1963


Volume Nine, 4 March 1963


Volume Ten, 5 March 1963


Volume Eleven, 6 March 1963


Volume Twelve, 7 March 1963


Volume Thirteen, 8 March 1963


Volume Fourteen, 11 March 1963


Volume Fifteen, 12 March 1963


Volume Sixteen, 13 March 1963


Volume Seventeen, 14 March 1963


Volume Eighteen, 15 March 1963


Volume Nineteen, 18 March 1963


Volume Twenty, 19 March 1963