Secretary of State's office asks counties to sort rejected absentee ballots

  • Article by: BOB VON STERNBERG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 2, 2008 - 4:48 PM
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marktrail3Dec. 2, 08 2:30 PM

As long as the Sec. of State isn't sorting out the AB ballots as only ones for Franken only. This recount is getting ridiculous.

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ericjmnDec. 2, 08 2:30 PM

...and count the Fifth Pile ballots? RE: "His e-mail specifically did not ask elections officials to open or count the ballots contained in the so-called fifth pile."

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marktrail3Dec. 2, 08 2:34 PM

Maybe the Sec. of State wants a pile of ballots that reads.. "Legally Rejected, but may be helpful to Franken."

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shannobiDec. 2, 08 2:49 PM

let the "process" play itself out, then see if you even need to whine or not [regardless of who wins]. if norm was behind and this was happening, franken people would be going nuts. there's nothing to get too riled up about until the process is [finally] over, then we can all have a collective whine about everything and we can move on. just relax, take a deep breathe, and focus on important problems; like terrorism, higher taxes, pork spending, redistribution of wealth, socialized medicine and other critical issues we face:)

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tomruenDec. 2, 08 2:50 PM

It's amazing it took this long to consider the possibility of incorrectly rejected ballots! I'm sure Coleman would like to see his support here too! (And too bad the recount won't include neglected votes for Barkey!)

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smithdeweyDec. 2, 08 3:21 PM

If there were votes that were legally cast on or before election day, but were not counted because of human error, they should be counted. This request by the SOS is to determine the size of the universe, and prepare those ballots for possible action by the courts.

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marcaschDec. 2, 08 3:30 PM

Finally we are having a state wide recount done in the era of optical scanners with a high absentee rate in a very close race. The result, regardless of who wins, will highlight issues in how votes are cast and counted for both in person and absentee voters. Whether statutory changes will be needed, better training of election officials or simply clearer direction from state and county officials to those running polling stations, is unknown. But at this point, inspite of the whining coming from both campaigns, I have been impressed by the small changes we are seeing. The biggest problem uncovered so far seems to be a lack of understanding of what to do if a ballot jams in a machine. Ballot security seems to be fine. Every anomalie that has been uncovered has been resolved because of the high degree of documentation at each stage. I am really pleased with how our election system is working.

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retiredjudgeDec. 2, 08 3:58 PM

smithdewey, it is not the role of the counties to determine whether the ballots were properly rejected. It is the role of the judges and it is grossly irresponsible for the secretary of state to interfere with the judge. It is an outrageous assault upon the judiciary and the judge who is assigned to the case will be enraged that the secretary of state usurped his authority. The Judge will not be happy how this election has been botched by the State. I have no confidence at anything the counties and the canvassing board has done or is doing, and look forward to the guidance that will hopefully be provided by a respected impartial judge. Sorting through these ballots as to why they were rejected is an outrageous affront to the judiciary. I want this election to be in a courtroom now and I have no tolerance for the canvassing board, the secretary of state, and the counties. If I were a superior court Judge down there I would on my own motion order the recount to be finished and the recount certified. I would ban the counties from sorting through the ballots, and I alone would make the decision without any input from the lawyers and election officials decide whether the ballots were properly rejected. It is a Superior Court Judge and his staff who should be sorting through the rejected ballots not the counties. Today is a sad day for the courts when the judge is being deprived of his ability to do his job.

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retiredjudgeDec. 2, 08 4:07 PM

It is the role of the counties to provide the election results. That is it. No judge wants to hear from them why certain ballots were rejected. That is not their role. It is the role of the superior court judge to solve the problem, and all judges detest input from third parties. All Judges want grievances presented to them in a timely manner, all judges detest with a passion when the parties attempt to resolve the conflict themselves, and detest delays in the process because the parties are too busy collecting and reviewing information. The time for review is over. It is time for presentation and the sorting of ballots at this stage of the process constitutes flagrant disrespect for the judge.

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Average_JoeDec. 2, 08 4:31 PM

...manufacturing begin!

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