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Golddogs
12-23-2008, 07:26 AM
It is going to be an interesting end to an interesting year. Coleman now trails Franken in the re-count.

YardleyLabs
12-23-2008, 08:00 AM
It's definitely still up in the air. The final result will undoubtedly be determined by the absentee ballots that were rejected in error. Historically, absentee ballots have favored republicans. In this election, because of the strong efforts by the Obama campaign to focus on getting absentee ballots, that has shifted and the expectation is that the rejected absentee ballots will favor Franken. That is why Coleman has fought so hard to keep them from being counted.

A review of rejected absentee ballots by the canvassing boards found that about 1500-1600 had been rejected inappropriately. A number of others were rejected appropriately but in ways where a voter could challenge the rejection and succeed (e.g. signature on ballot envelope doesn't match last signature on record with the commission). On a normal basis, those individual challenges are heard on a case by case basis by the courts after the vote has been certified. However, the state supreme court ruled that in cases where the election boards decided for themselves that a vote had been rejected without any valid reason it should be counted in the recount. The problem is that the state court said that all parties would need to agree that there was no valid reason for the rejection and partisan concerns seem likely to prevent any such agreement.

Current best guestimates are that, before counting these votes, Franken will lead by around 50 votes or less. That could be reversed to a similarly small lead by Coleman if the Coleman campaign is successful at getting 130 ballots excluded that it alleges are duplicate copies of ballots already counted. Either way, the absentee ballots will decide the election. If I were betting, I would bet that Franken will win by a few hundred votes when the dust settles but that Coleman may be announced as the winner first with the final judgment made in court.

Hoosier
12-23-2008, 09:25 AM
Coleman campaign is successful at getting 130 ballots excluded that it alleges are duplicate copies of ballots already counted

These votes were already counted, and the canvasing board acknowledges that they were. They were duplicated because the ballots were damaged. They said they had to count them, and a judge would have to be the one to throw them out. They are known to be replacement for damaged ballots. Let's see how much Frankens people complain when they don't count these Duplicate Ballots.

K.Bullock
12-23-2008, 09:31 AM
These votes were already counted, and the canvasing board acknowledges that they were. They were duplicated because the ballots were damaged. They said they had to count them, and a judge would have to be the one to throw them out. They are known to be replacement for damaged ballots. Let's see how much Frankens people complain when they don't count these Duplicate Ballots.

So ...they just keep recounting until they get the desired result?

Hoosier
12-23-2008, 09:33 AM
So ...they just keep recounting until they get the desired result?

Bingo, same as they tried in 2000

Marvin S
12-23-2008, 10:19 AM
So ...they just keep recounting until they get the desired result?

Did that in the WA State Gov Election 4 years ago - works really well if you want to disenfranchise real voters!! :mad: , but we're a Blue State. & stuck till the RE market goes up.

Hew
12-23-2008, 10:36 AM
Really, was there ever any doubt that they'd keep counting until Franken had enough votes to "win?" :rolleyes:

YardleyLabs
12-23-2008, 10:56 AM
These votes were already counted, and the canvasing board acknowledges that they were. They were duplicated because the ballots were damaged. They said they had to count them, and a judge would have to be the one to throw them out. They are known to be replacement for damaged ballots. Let's see how much Frankens people complain when they don't count these Duplicate Ballots.

As I understand it, Minnesota procedures require that, when a ballot cannot be read by the machine, the information on it is copied to another ballot and that ballot is fed into the counting machine. The copy is marked as a copy and the original is marked as the original and the two are supposed to be attached to each other. In this case I believe the originals were not found but the copies were. An initial hearing ordered that they be counted and the Coleman campaign is contesting that decision, not because they are copies but because the originals were not found.

The election commission includes two republicans, two independents, and the Commissioner of elections who is a democrat. I've been following this story fairly closely and have not seen any indication of particular partisanship in the review. Overall, the Minnesota election commission has gotten high marks for transparency and good work in sharp contrast to the Florida fiasco in 2000 (and several elections since).

The biggest "scandal" to date has been the treatment of absentee ballots because of the complexity of the instructions for completing ballots, the ease with which they are discarded with or without justification, and the difficulty of challenging those decisions. It is pretty amazing to have a vote this close given the number of votes cast.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect system for counting votes but Minnesota seems to have done more than most states in trying to improve accuracy and fairness in the process. Judging the process by whether or not you agree with the results may feel good but has nothing to do with democracy.

Hoosier
12-23-2008, 11:12 AM
That's right Jeff. What's supposed to happen is the damaged ballots are to be kept with the duplicate. In these cases they were not, and both copies were counted in the recount. The board acknowledges that they were counted twice and that it's up to the courts to sort it out. So when they were not kept together they were both counted.

Bob Gutermuth
12-23-2008, 12:06 PM
The possibility that Frankin might become a US Senator is an insult to the voters of Minn and the US Senate.

YardleyLabs
12-23-2008, 12:09 PM
That's right Jeff. What's supposed to happen is the damaged ballots are to be kept with the duplicate. In these cases they were not, and both copies were counted in the recount. The board acknowledges that they were counted twice and that it's up to the courts to sort it out. So when they were not kept together they were both counted.

Do you have a reference for that? My understanding was actually the opposite: it was known from the count of voters voting that the votes had not been counted but that the precinct turned in both counts and left it to the board to decide whether to include the copied votes or not. In any event, I understand that arguments will be heard today and that there should be a decision soon. I still suspect that the winner will be determined by the absentee ballots regardless of the outcome of this item.

K.Bullock
12-23-2008, 12:41 PM
(Newser) Al Franken's razor-thin lead in the Minnesota Senate race keeps getting narrower. The former Saturday Night Live writer holds a mere 48-vote lead over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman with most ballot challenges settled, down from the 251-vote advantage he had just last week, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

There is still court action ahead by the Coleman campaign over 130 ballots alleged to have been double counted. Issues also linger over up to 1,600 absentee ballots that may have been improperly rejected. The state Canvassing Board meets again today.

Source Minneapolis Star Tribune

http://www.newser.com/story/46057/frankens-lead-shrinking.html

K.Bullock
12-23-2008, 12:52 PM
Board rejects Coleman's request that it review rulings on 16 ballots

Last update: December 23, 2008 - 12:41 PM


State Canvassing Board members this morning rejected the request of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign to change their minds on 16 challenged ballots that they had awarded last week for Democrat Al

YardleyLabs
12-23-2008, 01:00 PM
(Newser) Al Franken's razor-thin lead in the Minnesota Senate race keeps getting narrower. The former Saturday Night Live writer holds a mere 48-vote lead over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman with most ballot challenges settled, down from the 251-vote advantage he had just last week, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

There is still court action ahead by the Coleman campaign over 130 ballots alleged to have been double counted. Issues also linger over up to 1,600 absentee ballots that may have been improperly rejected. The state Canvassing Board meets again today.

Source Minneapolis Star Tribune

http://www.newser.com/story/46057/frankens-lead-shrinking.html

I suspect that this -- http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/senate/36296064.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD 3aPc:_Yyc:aUycaEacyU -- may be a better reference for Hoosier's comment (it's the source story for your reference Kevin). However, this says nothing about the local district saying they know the votes were double counted. Rather, it quotes a republican judge as saying he thinks the Coleman charge may be correct. This appears to be a personal opinion, not something based on any hearing or investigation. Needless to say, the Coleman attorney filing the charge also believes it is correct and the Franken attorney believe it's a desperate attempt to grasp straws by a campaign that is losing. Big surprise.:rolleyes: Both sides have claims of election night irregularities that may ultimately be heard and that may or may not affect the final outcome. I am not trying to discount the claim, but for now it doesn't seem to hold any more weight than other claims being made. I have no idea how the count will turn out and, as a non-Minnesota resident, am not overly concerned as long as the process is fair. I'm not sure either candidate will do anything to further the fortunes of our country or to make a difference in filibuster votes in the Senate.

Hoosier
12-23-2008, 02:43 PM
It's been on the news and the paper. Let me see if I can find anything. It was on the local news a couple of days ago.

Hoosier
12-23-2008, 03:08 PM
http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_11258040?nclick_check=1

This isn't exactly what I'm looking for, I'll keep looking. This is from St.Pauls paper

Uncle Bill
12-23-2008, 06:28 PM
The possibility that Frankin might become a US Senator is an insult to the voters of Minn and the US Senate.


Hate to say it, Bob...but you obviously don't realize the voters in Minnesoooota can NEVER be insulted. BUT they will get what they deserve, much like the rest of the nation's ignorant. :confused:

They are vying to oust New York for the most stupid electorate in the country. But if Caroline gets appointed, New York will still be the champ.:rolleyes:

UB