MN-Sen: Franken By 225 After Rejected Absentee Ballot Count

UPDATE - After the recount, The Uptake has Franken gaining a 176 votes and now leading by 225 votes, based on the election judge's call. Objections to the election judge's rulings will be decided by the Canvassing Board on Monday There were no objections to the Election Judge's rulings. Coleman's doors are closing. He is in Hail Mary territory now.

The Minnesota Canvassing Board is counting 953 improperly rejected absentee ballots this weekend in the Senate election between Franken and Coleman.

The Uptake has the proceedings. Franken currently leads by 49 votes. Coleman has asked for certain additional rejected absentee ballots be counted but the Minnesota Supreme Court has not acted on its request. Coleman will contest the election (presumably Franken will too in the unlikely event he is behind at the end of the Canvassing Board's tabulations.) Under Minnesota law, there can be no certified winner of the race until contests to the election are resolved.

Speaking for me only

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    Coleman's doors are indeed closing (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 05:55:05 PM EST
    There are going to be calls for him to concede soon.

    I wonder if this margin makes Coleman's ... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by magster on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:08:48 PM EST
    ... challenges moot.  100 or so duplicates, plus the 46 Franken vote added back in from the missing ballots, plus whatever margin Coleman would get from the 645 twice rejected absentees.  If that doesn't equal 223, the election challenge could be over before it starts.  

    The Senate can, of course, review the returns (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:11:32 PM EST
    but faced with a Democratic majority, he's not going to get a great hearing there.

    I think the best he can do is delay Franken's seating for a while.


    Monitoring Minnesota media today (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:16:41 PM EST
    I find it telling that neither of the Twin Cities' papers has been doing the running vote tallies, and their blogging on this has been abysmal today.

    But at the same time, the updates have been stellar on the status of the Vikings game tomorrow.  Whew, good news -- no tv blackout in the Twin Cities.

    Even better, of course, have been the updates on the inclement weather -- freezing rain, snow, ye olde "wintry mix" -- in Minnesota.

    The priorities are clear.  Football and weather are way more important than Congress or even politics.  After all, this is the state that voted for Jesse Ventura.

    No kidding (none / 0) (#16)
    by magster on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:24:08 PM EST
    Is it any wonder these local papers are going bankrupt when they are being outhustled x 10 by a shoestring blog using cell phone cameras.

    Plenty of news here (none / 0) (#21)
    by DFLer on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 09:45:54 PM EST
    Have a Duel (none / 0) (#1)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 10:00:49 AM EST
    Franken versus Coleman

    They can use (none / 0) (#2)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:05:49 AM EST
    paint balls.

    With a panel of judges and experts to determine who "won".


    be careful (none / 0) (#26)
    by txpublicdefender on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 04:31:55 PM EST
    Be careful with those paintballs.  People will accuse you of training for jihad.

    a mess (none / 0) (#3)
    by jedimom on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:21:40 AM EST
    Cornyn TX R now promising to block Franken..

    I think opening the door to Reid blocking Burris BEGS to have trouble for us. We have Cornyn now promising to fight Franken's seating all the way and by blocking Burris IMO we are giving the GOP ammo to use against us. Reid is going to send Burris appt to Rules to block for 90 days, what is to stop Cornyn from doing that also??

    how will we get to 60 to invoke cloture and get the stimulus passed if we open the door to blocking Senate appointments when we have Delaware, Colorado and NY to get seated, it makes no sense to me

    and now we find from Sun Times that Reid put the kaibosh on all three AA candidates Blago was looking at...this is just going to get messier and I cannot believe we are giving them a precedent to use against us..

    If we want Franken, Bennett and I hope Maloney for NY, and then Biden Jr, we need to let Burris in and concentrate on the Franken fight IMO....

    I am not stalking you (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:37:21 AM EST
    But you seem a font of misunderstanding on the subject so I will try to explain your errors, imo of course.

    In Minnesota, the certification of election can only be issued AFTER completion of the election contest.

    Assuming the Canvassing Board issues its final tallies on Tuesday, and assuming Franken is ahead, Coleman will have 7 days to file a contest.

    Let's assume he files on Friday, January 9. A 3 judge panel will be formed to hear the contest, which can occur within 20 days of the date of the challenge.

    Presuming the panel moves expeditiously, which seems a fair assumption, the process should be complete by the end of January. Say it runs into the first week of February. Then it renders a decision and a winner is declared. Suppose an appeal is taken. This  too will be done expeditiously one presumes and will likely be resolved before the end of February.

    At which point the contest is resolved, a certificate election is issued and the matter is closed.

    Minnesota gets its Senator by the end of February at the latest in the worst case imo.


    Interesting report in Minnesota (none / 0) (#5)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:42:26 AM EST
    that the Senate may decide that it is not bound by the need to wait on certification by a state.  That scenario really would be ridiculous of Reid.

    Disregard for the rule of law indeed (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:43:24 AM EST
    That would be a mistake imo.

    Here it is (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:51:14 AM EST
    from the St. Paul Pio Press link in my earlier comment (so now I know who reads the links:-):

    When the board does complete its portion of the recount, it will certify a winner.  With a winner declared, the governor and secretary of state would be free to sign an election certificate and send that document on to the Secretary of the U.S. Senate, and the Senate would seat the winner.

    But in this race, it the loser is likely to file an election lawsuit -- something that could take a month to resolve. And, unlike in other states, the filing of the lawsuit stops the certificate from being signed under Minnesota law.

    So, could the Senate seat the person who is declared the winner but has no certificate to show for it?  Maybe.  The Senate's own rules recommend members receive election certificates but do not require them.

    "They can proceed without, but that would be unusual," said Steven Huefner, a former member of the U.S. Senate's Office of Legal Counsel and a professor at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law.

    Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar seems to want the declared winner seated, according to her spokeswoman.  "The senator hopes that if the bipartisan canvassing board certifies a winner after counting all the votes, the certificate of election would be signed and the winner would be provisionally seated pending court challenges, if any. . . .  If, for some reason, the winner was certified but the election certificate not signed, the issue would have to be resolved at that time."

    Btw, I have become disappointed by Klobuchar several times.  Probably my fault for hoping for change -- or, actually, for hoping for more of the fine sort of Minnesota Senator we have seen so often in past.  But I fear that she's a fool, lacking principle to ground her.


    I think she thinks this shows her fighting (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:55:56 AM EST
    for representation for Minnesota.

    I have no idea if it is good politics on her part or not.

    BTW, Franken has said not a word about being seated early.


    Good; Franken, at least, is wiser. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 12:21:44 PM EST
    Go Franken Go! (none / 0) (#11)
    by WS on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:02:37 PM EST
    I mean Go SENATOR Al Franken Go!

    Senator-elect, of course. ;-) (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:05:01 PM EST
    Coleman should concede (none / 0) (#17)
    by denise k on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:41:03 PM EST
    It would be the right thing to do unless he has a good faith argument that has at least an even chance of overturning the election. He may have that, I don't know.  But for the sake of everyone involved -- especially now when so much needs to be done so quickly in the Senate -- an election contest that has as its only goal, delaying Franken's installation as Senator, is petty and wrong.  

    I confess I have only been following headlines but I'd like to know what Coleman's legal arguments might be for overturning the thing beyond the recent machinations with the S. Ct. Any ideas? links?

    Answered my own question (none / 0) (#18)
    by denise k on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 06:58:16 PM EST
    This Statute makes it look like all the court can do is look at the counting of ballots - not substantive issues.  See link.

    When a contest relates to the office of senator or a member of the house of representatives of the United States, the only question to be decided by the court is which party to the contest received the highest number of votes legally cast at the election and is therefore entitled to receive the certificate of election. The judge trying the proceedings shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law upon that question. Evidence on any other points specified in the notice of contest, including but not limited to the question of the right of any person to nomination or office on the ground of deliberate, serious, and material violation of the provisions of the Minnesota Election Law, must be taken and preserved by the judge trying the contest, or by some person appointed by the judge for that purpose; but the judge shall make no findings or conclusion on those points.

    After the time for appeal has expired, or in case of an appeal, after the final judicial determination of the contest, upon application of either party to the contest, the court administrator of the district court shall promptly certify and forward the files and records of the proceedings, with all the evidence taken, to the presiding officer of the Senate or the House of Representatives of the United States. The court administrator shall endorse on the transmittal envelope or container the name of the case and the name of the party in whose behalf the proceedings were held, and shall sign the endorsement.

    "Legally cast" (none / 0) (#19)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 07:45:22 PM EST
    appears to be the grounds of the Coleman suit before the court now, so it could take up that.  Doubt it will, though, based on its previous ruling that showed it wants to avoid actually playing a role in this mess.  That's too bad, in a way, if it means Franken starts out without firm standing in the eyes of a lot of Minnesotans.  But it is what it is with that state supreme court.

    My Franken sign is back in the front window, (none / 0) (#20)
    by DFLer on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 09:19:08 PM EST
    and the lawn sign goes back up in the ice field...I mean front yard, tomorrow!

    BTW, Cream, as a 'Sconilander, you should know that weather ALWAYS leads the news report, come rain or shine (so to speak)

    Yeh, inch-high headlines (none / 0) (#22)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 10:10:17 PM EST
    and screaming banners were the norm for the old Milwaukee Sentinel -- banners like "COLD COMING."

    Well, y'know, duh.  It's 'Sconsin.:-)

    At least there's always something to write about with the weather here.  Funniest stories I've seen are in the Irish Times, for weather that day after day is between 40 and 70 with a little "soft rain."  So the writers really have to reach for exciting weather stories to regale their readers.


    weather drives language (none / 0) (#23)
    by DFLer on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 10:19:43 PM EST
    as in, there are scores of words in the Inuit language to describe various degrees of snow, ice, slush, etc  -scores of words in Hawaiian (sp.?) to describe waves, tides, etc.

    If you don't have complex conditions, you don't have complex language to describe those conditions.


    I've always heard that (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 10:24:07 PM EST
    re Native Alaskans (not just the Inuit) but recently read that it's not so.  But I know that we here certainly know there are many types of snow -- and just had fun hosting an Australian who never had seen it before but got here in time to witness our record snowfall this December.  And in time to see the snow with the big flakes falling, the snow that is sleety and icy and in your face, the snow that is good powder for good sledding but not for snowball fights, etc.

    So she learned about "good packing snow" -- and  was amazed by it all.  It was fun for us to see this sucking winter through fresh eyes, I'll tell ya!


    a phrase I like is (none / 0) (#25)
    by DFLer on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 10:29:39 PM EST
    "big snow, little snow; little snow, big snow"

    supposedly NA origin, meaning when the flakes are big and fat, there won't be that much of it. When they're smaller, it can be a big one.

    When you think of it, blizzard snow is rarely big fat flakes.

    (love that "packing snow", btw)