Meanwhile Back At The MN-Sen Recount . . .

The latest, via the Strib:

Hennepin County finished its review of 326 rejected absentee ballots late this morning, with the Coleman and Franken campaigns agreeing to count nearly 80 percent of them. In the state’s most populous county, 255 absentee ballots that county election officials acknowledged were mistakenly rejected were accepted by the two campaigns after a two-day, mostly-uneventful review. Seventy-four were rejected. The rejections were roughly evenly split between the two campaigns, with Franken rejecting 36 ballots, Coleman 33, and five withdrawn by the county.

Apparently, this was the pattern around the state. The interesting development is the Coleman campaign's attempt to include more rejected absentee ballots for review. This is a reflection of their position trailing Franken at this point:

Hundreds of additional ballots would also have to be reconsidered under the [Coleman] campaign’s request [to the Minnesota Supreme Court.] “We’re talking about enfranchising people,” said Coleman recount attorney Fritz Knaak.

But a recount attorney for Franken said that his campaign would fight the move and was confident it would fail. “They are now back ... asking for a do-over” even though the process ordered by the Supreme Court is nearly finished, said Marc Elias, a Franken attorney. “We’re simply not prepared to allow them to rewrite those rules,” he said.

. . . Trading places

The Coleman campaign’s court petition underscored the irony that the campaigns have largely traded positions on counting additional votes. For weeks, while Coleman held an unofficial lead, it was the Franken campaign that daily decried the danger of disenfranchising voters. Now, with Franken ahead, it is Coleman’s troops who are mainly calling for more rejected ballots to be considered.

Coleman’s aim is “bringing in ballots that were wrongly excluded,” attorney Knaak said Wednesday. “I heard it a hundred times from the Franken campaign.” In addition to the 1,346 absentee ballots already identified by counties as wrongly rejected, the Coleman campaign in recent days has asked counties to review another 654 rejected absentee ballots that may be legitimate. Some counties have agreed to the request, while others have not.

It seems clear that a certified winner will not emerge anytime soon.

Speaking for me only

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    Remember the good old days (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 07:30:49 PM EST
    when Dems stood for counting the votes?  Ah, well, how pre-2008 of me.

    Franken has been saying (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by WS on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 07:51:31 PM EST
    to count all the votes including the improperly rejected ballots.  Its Coleman who's been wanting to cherry pick. Now, Coleman is suing again to stop the recount of the improperly rejected ballots.

    953 out of some 1300 improperly rejected ballots were agreed to be counted by both campaigns.  They will be counted tomorrow except if the MN Supreme Court intervenes according to the uptake.    


    Not exactly true (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 08:05:53 PM EST
    Coleman wants to cherrypick OUTSIDE of those agreed to ballots.

    Coleman's been doing that (none / 0) (#7)
    by WS on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 09:51:13 PM EST
    and he's also wanting to cherry pick from the 1300 or so improperly rejected ballots by challenging heavily in Democratic leaning areas while resting on their laurels in Coleman areas.

    Twin Cities Liberal

    I think the Franken campaign are on top of it.  953 ballots are due to be counted and Franken should come out on top (crosses fingers).  But I wonder how the almost 350 or so improperly rejected ballots that were not agreed upon would have voted.    


    It's messier than that -- it's Florida again (none / 0) (#9)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 10:06:22 PM EST
    in that the counting is being done differently, county by county.  See the St. Paul Pio Press.  That the process differs from one side of the street to the next is just asking for a court case.  

    And both sides are asking for some votes to not be counted.  A pox on all pols.


    No, Franken's position (none / 0) (#10)
    by WS on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 07:34:52 AM EST
    is to count all legally cast ballots.

    Blame the MN Supreme Court for allowing the partisan camps to have to agree which improperly rejected ballots are counted.  The Canvassing Board ruled that all of them should be counted but the MN SC overruled them.  About 1350 absentees were deemed improperly rejected according to the uptake.  

    And again, the process doesn't differ.  MN law already has 4 conditions by which an absentee ballots are to be rejected.  Anything outside of that should be counted.  Guess which side has been challenging absentees apart from those 4 conditions.  

    However, the new MN SC conditions (that both sides have to agree to count a ballot) does create problems, but that's the MN SC's fault.  Still, 953 ballots out of about 1350 were agreed upon and are to be counted today.  


    But "legally cast" is the question (none / 0) (#12)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:30:54 AM EST
    that apparently will go to court.

    No, Franken has not (none / 0) (#14)
    by WS on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 04:18:58 PM EST
    been wanting to knock out ballots based on what is considered legally cast.  Franken wanted to count all the 1350 deemed improperly rejected by the Canvassing Board but Coleman sued and we got the MN SC conditions.

    On the challenges, Franken challenged if the ballots were incongruent with what MN law said is not allowed in a ballot (signatures, overvotes, etc.) - MN has very specific laws about voter intent and disqualified ballots.  

    Like what we saw during the challenged ballot process, Coleman's challenges were a lot more frivolous, and Franken did have challenges based on trying to count votes for himself rather than frivolously trying to disenfranchise ballots like Coleman did.  

    MN 2008 is not Florida 2000 (or 2008 primary).  


    Read the link -- and the blog (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 05:12:29 PM EST
    at the Strib site, which goes into this again.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#16)
    by WS on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:04:02 PM EST
    you need to read the MN recount coverage again.  

    Maybe (none / 0) (#17)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 07:48:08 PM EST
    you need to explain why you're not reading the link?  And I have reading the recount coverage in both Twin Cities papers from the start.  It is much more complex than the way it is presented by many commenters here -- apparently including you.

    What made you think (none / 0) (#18)
    by WS on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:08:28 PM EST
    I didn't read the link?  I read the link and I got miffed when you cast aspersions on the Franken campaign when its the Coleman campaign who frivolously challenged ballots, filed lawsuit after lawsuit to complicate and taint the process, and wanted to knock out legally cast ballots during the challenged ballot process and improperly rejected ballot process.  

    All your link showed was that the process became more complex due to the MN SC conditions that Coleman's lawsuit triggered.  The Canvassing Board wanted to count all 1350 improperly rejected ballots but the MN SC created the new conditions.  Like BTD said, Coleman's contention that the improperly rejected ballot process is uneven would mean:

    The Minnesota Supreme Court will have to judge its own order to be flawed in order to grant Coleman relief.

    And if you have problems with how the recount process is presented, do try to correct the record.  But this conversation is not a one way street and expect people to just sit back and accept your version of events like when you compared MN to Florida, which is so completely wrong, and when you said that both Franken and Coleman were equally culpable in the recount dirty tricks department, which is also completely wrong.



    How you can be so satisfied (none / 0) (#19)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:55:12 PM EST
    with the process, I cannot imagine.  Those in the know there certainly are not:

    After the counting, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said that the 12,000 rejected absentee ballots "break my heart" because a complicated system disenfranchised those voters. And he said he wasn't happy at all with the court order that allowed the counting of only wrongly rejected absentee ballots that both campaigns agreed to accept.

    "The two campaigns got to veto the right to vote of over 400 Minnesotans," he said.

    And 12,000 absentee ballots are not being counted -- and both campaigns have been involved.  Both.

    Read up on less biased sites or don't do so, but you cannot now claim ignorance of what Minnesota officials themselves see as a sad event in a state that consistently leads the country in turnout, only to face this.  I know some of those voters there, and this is not Minnesota's way.


    No, those ballots (none / 0) (#20)
    by WS on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 10:10:17 AM EST
    were not disenfranchised because of the campaigns.  Those absentee ballots were rejected by election officials because they fit into the 4 conditions for which MN law told them to reject those ballots such as identifying marks, overvotes, etc.  

    As for those 400 improperly rejected ballots the campaigns got to veto, those were the conditions the MN SC set, so blame the Coleman campaign for initiating that lawsuit and having the MN SC overruling the Canvassing Board who wanted to count all 1350 instead of the 953.  Coleman didn't want to count all of them because Franken's lead would have been greater had they all been counted and Franken's position was to count all of them.  But Franken wasn't about to roll over when he saw what Coleman was up to trying to cherry pick his votes.

    You are mad at what happened in Michigan and Florida during the primary and now irrationally want to take it out on Franken, a Democrat.   These circumstances are different from what happened then.  


    No, read the pending suit (none / 0) (#21)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 02:48:30 PM EST
    and you will see that of course, the decisions were made by election officials -- but made differently in different counties, depending upon whether they followed the court ruling re weight of what each campaign had to say.  Or so it is stated.  We will see if the court wades through that, although I would not be surprised to see it simply dodge this.

    We'll see what (none / 0) (#22)
    by WS on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 04:44:42 PM EST
    happens but my main contention is that Coleman has been way worse than Franken in dirty tricks during the recount.  Franken's not perfect but both campaigns are not equal on this.  I didn't like the aspersions on a good man like Franken.  He has been honorable during this process, way more honorable than Coleman in this process.  

    I think we can both agree that a Franken win is a good thing.  


    And re the process, read the link (none / 0) (#13)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:31:29 AM EST
    It does differ.

    Do I remember it? Not particularly. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 09:00:59 PM EST
    Kerry certainly didn't stand up for  the principle, and Gore attempted to cherry pick his challenges---as was his right---but didn't stand up for disenfranchised voters en masse.

    fuzzy memories of Bush v Gore (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Palli on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 10:05:08 PM EST
    Remember 2000 selection correctly:
    Gore was prevented by Florida law to ask for a state-wide recount -unless Bush campaign would agree
    Gore didn't cherry pick, he did what he could.  
    The Florida Supreme Court demanded a state-wide recount and it was the Bush injunction and Bush v. Gore with 5 suprem-ists that stopped the count that would have made Gore President -Elect.

    My memory is (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 09:37:59 AM EST
    Gore "legally" cherry picked counties that he thought would be most beneficial to him (I thought win or lose he should pick every county to give the Florida recount credibility) ..but I believe you are right on the rest of the memory.

    6 year term (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 07:11:39 PM EST
    So it's worth getting this right.

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 07:26:14 PM EST
    Let all the challenges play out. Absolutely no reason to hurry it.