Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Court rules on MN Senate ballots


The court has heard all the challenges and made quite a few critical decisions, leading up to this final ruling. Phoenix Woman writes at Firedoglake:
The Election Contest Court has ruled that the remaining contested absentee ballots will be counted on April 7, starting at 9:30 am Central Time. Whoever is ahead at the end of the count will be declared the winner of the 2008 election for what used to be Norm Coleman's (and Paul Wellstone's) Senate seat. Norm will of course appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court (and will take his sweet time doing so -- he has ten days to make his appeal), but it's getting closer to the end here. Once the Minnesota Soops deep-six Norm, that's it.
So, it all boils down to this: about 2.9 million Minnesotans cast ballots on election day. About 10% of that total were absentee ballots. The elections board rejected approximately 12,000 of those ballots due to technical violations of one sort or another (mis-marked ballots, late post-marks, etc.)

Out of those 12,000 rejected ballots, the court decided that roughly 400 were omitted by mistake and will be opened and counted on April 7th. Challenger Al Franken currently has a 225-vote lead over GOP incumbent Norm Coleman, so he'd need to take at least 313 out of those 400 votes (less if you subtract a few percent for the third-party candidate). Even though a lot of these ballots are from Coleman-leaning districts, it seem like a tremendous long shot that he'll overtake Franken to win.

The count will begin at 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central) on Tuesday, April 7th, and you can watch streaming video of the recount LIVE at TheUptake.com.


carterman said...

Democracy in action! And... does it ever work at a slow pace.

West Haven Bob said...

The problems caused by absentee ballots in MN (and the potential for the same in NY) should be a cautionary tale for CT legislators.

I've submitted several suggestions to avoid these pitfalls to SOTS and to several Assembly members.

CT Bob said...

There's definitely room for improvement in their procedures, but the transparency of this recount process is going to be a significant help in making the process go smoother. Democracy is definitely a "work in progress".

Sellitman (Kevin) said...

The Repiggies will take this to the Supreme Court where they will appoint Coleman the winner.

Bank on it.

CT Bob said...

I think it's a foregone conclusion that Coleman will appeal this to the Supremes, but the one thing this trial had going for it is they really stuck to solid precedents and procedures. Coleman's crew will have a very hard time finding a valid reason to appeal, and the SC will likely toss it out without hearing it.

Besides, Harry Reid has indicated he's going to seat the winner of the recount once it's finalized next week. It will be damn near impossible for anyone to do anything about it after that, unless something really really huge turns up. Doubtful.