Minnesota Recount: Consistency is the hobgoblin of Canvassing Boards

posted at 12:30 pm on December 17, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Minnesota’s Canvassing Board began reviewing ballot challenges yesterday, working its way through some of the 440 ballots challenged by the Al Franken campaign.  At the end of the day, though, Norm Coleman had increased his lead by almost a hundred ballots, and the board has yet to begin tackling his challenges in any significant amount.  Coleman in fact began adding challenges back into the pile after seeing the decisions by the board:

On Day 1, Tuesday, the board reviewed and ruled on the admissibility of about 160 Election Day ballots among the more than 1,400 ballots being challenged by the two campaigns.

Board members began Tuesday by taking up 440 or so ballots challenged by Franken. The board has yet to dive into challenges made by the Coleman campaign, which numbered roughly 1,000 before word surfaced that it planned to restore about 200 of those it had previously withdrawn.

Although an official number of upheld challenges wasn’t available, it appeared that rate was relatively high, given that many experts consider sustained challenges to be rare. Franken’s 22-vote pickup reflected a degree of success for him, and at least some of the 41 votes awarded to neither candidate were ones that would have gone to Coleman.

Yesterday I spoke with people close to the Coleman effort on background.  Originally, they thought that Franken had pulled back on hundreds of challenges, but discovered that Franken’s team kept them as provisional challenges instead.  That fact, plus the unexpectedly generous nature of the board in upholding challenges, pushed the Coleman campaign into reinstating some of their previous challenges of Franken votes.

The mood for Team Coleman seems tense.  They expect that any consistent application of standards to challenged ballots favors them.  The nightmare scenario for Republicans is if the board becomes capricious and arbitrary in its challenge decisions.  At the moment, they see the board acting with reasonable consistency, but this will be a long process, and they’re on the edge of their seats.

At the moment, the Star Tribune has Coleman up by 285 votes.  With only another 1400 ballots left to determine, it may be difficult — but not impossible — for Franken to overcome that margin on ballot challenges alone.  The state Supreme Court meets today to hear Team Coleman’s challenge to the board’s “recommendation” regarding review of rejected absentee ballots, and they hope the court will demand a consistent standard on that review, which the board neglected to set.

Consistency appears to be the buzzword of the week here.  We’ll see if we get it.


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Good luck up there! Franklin appears ready to kill for his seat (after all, once in the fraternity, it’s hereditary for Democrats!). Hopefully the rule of law will happen.

Vanceone on December 17, 2008 at 12:34 PM

Simple solution, find another Kennedy.

dmann on December 17, 2008 at 12:34 PM

How much money is this costing taxpayers?

mindhacker on December 17, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Don’t assume that Franken’s lawyers have played all their cards yet. Thieves typically don’t see the error of their ways and stop – particularly when they get away with it.

perroviejo on December 17, 2008 at 12:41 PM

“mindhacker on December 17, 2008 at 12:38 PM”

ultiamtely, far less than if al steals the seat!

Buckaroo on December 17, 2008 at 12:47 PM

“perroviejo on December 17, 2008 at 12:41 PM”

which is why the canvassing board and the MN supremes needs to SHUT THE DOOR on or before friday to deny them additional oportunity!

Buckaroo on December 17, 2008 at 12:48 PM

when will this fricken thing be over??????

twiggman on December 17, 2008 at 12:49 PM

The best solution to this mess would be to kick Minnesota out of the Union.

Percy_Peabody on December 17, 2008 at 12:49 PM

The best solution to this mess would be to kick Minnesota out of the Union.

Percy_Peabody on December 17, 2008 at 12:49 PM

We can trade them to the Soviet Union for Lithuania and a Baltic State to be named latter.

Tommy_G on December 17, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Could someone remind Minnesota that 2009 is only a oouple weeks away. This is embarassing!

grdred944 on December 17, 2008 at 12:53 PM

This is getting to be ridiculous! When are they going to tell Frankenfrapple to go scr*w himself? He is a loser. Are the people paying with their tax money for this? Why don’t the People of MN. Raise hell?

sheebe on December 17, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Minnesota ” The Land Of A Thousand Flakes”

MDWNJ on December 17, 2008 at 12:54 PM

“sheebe on December 17, 2008 at 12:54 PM”

these would be the same people that almost voted in al, DUH!
:-)

Buckaroo on December 17, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Consistency appears to be the buzzword of the week here. We’ll see if we get it.

It depends on what consistency you want. I’m sure they can do “consistency of mud mixed with sticks and stones of varying sizes”, but I rather doubt they can pull off “consistency of a chocolate milkshake”.

steveegg on December 17, 2008 at 1:08 PM

when will this fricken thing be over??????

twiggman on December 17, 2008 at 12:49 PM

When Franken is proclaimed the winner.

Asher on December 17, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Minnesota has been a political dung heap for years. There hasn’t been a serious politician come out of there that’s worth a $hit in my lifetime, and I remember President Eisenhower.

saiga on December 17, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Look at the cluster fark it was when Wellstone got killed. Then it was Jessie Ventura. There are also an awful lot of really ugly women there too. I went there for a trade show, and walking through the airport I thought I was going to turn into a pillar of salt.

I guess homely more than ugly.

saiga on December 17, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Being from Texas, you get spoiled on pretty women.

saiga on December 17, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Consistency Franken is the hobgoblin of Canvassing Boards the Human Race

Ok, once again…keep ripping on Minnesota and look what THIS ENTIRE COUNTRY just elected for President.

BigWyo on December 17, 2008 at 1:44 PM

There are also an awful lot of really ugly women there too. I went there for a trade show, and walking through the airport I thought I was going to turn into a pillar of salt.

I guess homely more than ugly.

saiga on December 17, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Minneapolis-St. Paul is a hub airport. Just a guess — you may have seen some women from other places passing through. We have many very attractive ladies here. You never want to judge a place by its airport – ask a Bostonian about that.

Mr. D on December 17, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Ok, once again…keep ripping on Minnesota and look what THIS ENTIRE COUNTRY just elected for President.

BigWyo on December 17, 2008 at 1:44 PM

It is very upsetting, true, but look at who was running against him. Ever sense shamnesty, McCain had a big black X on his forehead every time I looked at him. If McCain was the best the republicans had to offer, they diserved to loose big. Like i said from the getgo, we need another Jimmy Carter if we are to get another Ronald Reagan.

saiga on December 17, 2008 at 1:49 PM

There are also an awful lot of really ugly women there too. I went there for a trade show, and walking through the airport I thought I was going to turn into a pillar of salt.

I guess homely more than ugly.

saiga on December 17, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Excuse me, but I live here and I am NOT ugly. I did quite well when I grew up in the DC area as well. And when I moved here I noticed a ton of attractive women. They were all blondes, but as a brunette that worked out great for me.

foxforce91 on December 17, 2008 at 2:23 PM

Excuse me, but I live here and I am NOT ugly. I did quite well when I grew up in the DC area as well. And when I moved here I noticed a ton of attractive women. They were all blondes, but as a brunette that worked out great for me.

—What you look like doesn’t matter if you have to wear a face mask for ten months of the year because of the cold.

—————————————————-

Illinois: Where people from Minnesota which they were living.

jim m on December 17, 2008 at 3:01 PM

—What you look like doesn’t matter if you have to wear a face mask for ten months of the year because of the cold.

Most of us don’t wear face masks. A scarf usually takes care of things.

foxforce91 on December 17, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Most of us don’t wear face masks. A scarf usually takes care of things.

–When you’re walking through the tunnels in downtown Minneapolis, I would hope a scarf is fine.

–I was talking about walking outside.

(I’m pulling your leg).

jim m on December 17, 2008 at 4:25 PM

At the moment, the Star Tribune has Coleman up by 285 votes. With only another 1400 ballots left to determine, it may be difficult — but not impossible — for Franken to overcome that margin on ballot challenges alone.

Actually, I read it the other way. I now think it’s likely Franken will win.

Coleman netted 75 or so votes on Franken challenges of the 160 or so examined. If Franken does as well on Coleman’s challenges that will net him roughly 460 votes, or enough to overtake Coleman.

Buckland on December 17, 2008 at 10:07 PM