Court weighs absentee ballots

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 17, 2008 - 11:58 PM

At a sometimes testy hearing, the state Supreme Court heard the Coleman campaign's request to keep improperly rejected ballots out of the U.S. Senate recount.

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stpaul111Dec. 17, 08 4:12 PM

Seems very straightforward. Count the valid, correctly cast votes. No question about it!

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palindrome08Dec. 17, 08 4:37 PM

Coleman is looking to have the votes assembled and counted in a consistent manner. Duh.

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woodyagDec. 17, 08 4:40 PM

In fact I'm proud of Minnesota's counting of mismarked ballots. It would be easy to say "ha, they didn't do it right; throw it out." But- in our best kind of fairness, we've decided that if you can look at the ballot, and tell what the voter intended- that counts. Exactly how do you justify NOT counting properly cast ballots- that were improperly not counted? I'm afraid the only reason that makes sense for Coleman is- pure selfishness- and a nice willingness to IGNORE- the intent of the voters.

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ajtheprofDec. 17, 08 4:47 PM

Coleman's vote counts have looked good so far, but his lawyer's argument in this court case seems desperate. Arguing that legitimately cast and easily identified ballots should not be counted is anti-democratic. What is a recount for anyway?

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kdhlorettoDec. 17, 08 4:59 PM

You can't count what you don't have. Also, the rules in place at midnight on Nov 3 must be enforced. Anyone trying to change the rules now can only be seen as suspicious. If a rule says that a ballot must be counted if it can be interpreted, than count it. If someone does not follow the rules (Like a signature or whatever) then they have a ballot that cannot be counted. I don't care which rule favors which candidate, you have to follow the rules. If you don't like them, too bad. Work to change it for the next election.--I voted for Norm (actually against Al), but I would rather see Norm lose than violate the sanctity of the voting process. Count what the rules allow, and not what they don't! Let the chips fall.

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rmurdochDec. 17, 08 5:06 PM

"Coleman is looking to have the votes assembled and counted in a consistent manner. Duh." double duh. He obviously is not. He is fearful that he will be overtaken by legal but wrongfully rejected absentee votes - which he probably would - and wants to be declared the winner first so he can (falsely) claim he won the election and the recount and Franken wants to win in court. It is so blindingly obvious that if you don't see this you are either stupid or lying to yourself

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johnelDec. 17, 08 5:09 PM

"Why should a voter who does cast a ballot that's valid have to bring a [legal] contest [to get it counted]?" he asked. "That just doesn't seem right to me." It doesn't seem right because it isn't right. If someone voted legally their vote should be counted.

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aonanodadDec. 17, 08 5:46 PM

I predict that the Supreme Court will not want to set any precedent here, and will simply deny Coleman's challenge. Sure the Canvassing Board cannot compel county Boards to comply with their recommendation, but any county Board that does not comply can be challenged in COUNTY COURT. The Secy of State set the standard for consistently rejecting absentee ballots according to the law (4 piles for each legal reason to reject a ballot and a 5th pile for rejected ballots for any other reason), and I just cannot see the Supreme Court interfering with the decision made by the Canvassing Board to count them.

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allsburgDec. 17, 08 5:56 PM

Let's say a County goes back and changes its mind, and decides that these 50 absentee ballots were wrongly rejected. They open them, count them, and Franken picks up ten votes, giving him the election. Now let's say Coleman mounts a legal challenge, and points to 20 of these initially rejected ballots. He's still got the envelopes, and he convinces the court that these 20 votes should have been rejected after all. The question is, whose votes are whose? After the ballot comes out of the envelope, the privacy of the voter is sacrosanct. Do you violate that, and keep track of which voter made which vote? Or do you adhere to the principle of the secret ballot and lose any hope of redressing a poor decision by a low level county official?

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wardnjuneDec. 17, 08 6:28 PM

But the story today on Politico.com seems to be that Coleman is planning to use campaign funds to pay for the high-test lawyers he's hired while the FBI investigate the $75,000 that was supposedly was funneled to his wife's employer by his sugar-daddy, Kazeminy. I wouldn't think the FEC would look too kindly on campaign donations being used for criminal defense attorneys. Did I miss this story in the Strib? Or are they once again covering up for their endorsed candidate?

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