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Captain Ed has a post up on the despicable tactics Team Franken is using in the Coleman-Franken recount. This picture is worth a thousand words:

I wrote here that I participated in the recount for the Alison Krueger-Lisa Fobbe race. The recount was of ballots cast in Morrison County. Election official Russ Nygren sorted the ballots into three seperate piles, one pile for Krueger votes, another for Fobbe votes and another pile for ‘other’ (undervotes and Olson write-ins).

Of the 1,400 ballots we reviewed, I’m guessing that approximately 50-75 ballots were marked first with an X in the oval, then later filled in properly. Each time we came across such a ballot, Mr. Nygren would pause from the sorting, at which point he’d highlight the consistency shown throughout the ballot. Neither side challenged ballots marked this way because it was obvious what voter intent was.

The fact that Team Franken is using this type of tactic says one thing clearly: that they’ll do anything to steal this election. This is disgusting behavior. My recommendation for Team Coleman recount watchers is to object to the challenge on the grounds that it’s a frivolous challenge. If anyone has information that the election official has sided with Team Franken on such a challenge, first contact Team Coleman, then leave a comment to this post with the time/location of such an incident.

Don’t hesitate to bring in Team Coleman’s lawyer watching over the recount at your recount location. Filing a formal complaint is, in my opinion, entirely justifiable.

UPDATE: Welcome Gateway Pundit Readers. Team Franken’s tactics are completely baseless. After participating in a recount of a Minnesota State Senate election yesterday, I know that ballot challenges can be dismissed if they’re ruled frivolous. Yesterday, we saw many ballots, possible 3-5% of all ballots we surveyed, marked similarly to this. Neither side raised objections to ballots marked like this.

In my opinion, Team Franken’s objections should be rejected because they’re frivolous.

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12 Responses to “Team Franken’s Despicable Tactics”

  • Ralph Kramden says:

    When you were looking at ballots yesterday and you found one that was non-conforming, did the judges consider how the REST of the ballot was marked?

    This particular snapshot of the ballot only shows the Coleman/Franken race. What I’d like to know is how the rest of the ballot was marked. If the rest of the ballot had the ovals circled, and only the Coleman/Franken race had the oval circled and then X-ed out, I can see a possible reason to question the voter’s intent. If, on the other had, the rest of the races were marked with similar scribbles through and around the ovals, then not so much.

    Is there a bigger picture of this ballot somewhere?

  • Gary Gross says:

    When you were looking at ballots yesterday and you found one that was non-conforming, did the judges consider how the REST of the ballot was marked?

    Yes, that’s the criteria we used.

    RK, few of the ballots were completely filled in. If the optical scanner can’t read the ballots, it immediately rejects them. The ballots can be corrected instantly. If the ballot can’t be corrected, then the voter is given another ballot.

    That’s Minnesota State Election Law.

    Out of 1,400 ballots yesterday, there were 2 overvotes & approximately 50 undervotes cast for the Fobbe-Krueger race in Morrison County.

    A good rule of thumb for challenges should be whether the ballot scanned properly. Ballots that are overvotes won’t scan properly. PERIOD. Also, if the oval isn’t filled in properly, the optical scanner will reject the ballot.

  • Ralph Kramden says:

    RK:When you were looking at ballots yesterday and you found one that was non-conforming, did the judges consider how the REST of the ballot was marked?

    GG:Yes, that’s the criteria we used.

    So that begs the question – for the ballot you display here, how was the rest of the ballot marked?

  • Gary Gross says:

    RK, This ballot did scan, therefore it should be counted. It’s my contention that only ballots that were rejected by the optical scanner should be subject to challenge.

    That said, the sorting through the ballots is legitimate for the purposes of counting the vote totals from the machines.

  • eric z says:

    It is interesting how in another post you’d mentioned editorializing less.

    It is also interesting that Team Franken is preserving all grounds for taking things beyond a recount, to the courts, and to the Senate in a seating challenge, if that is the ultimate direction taken.

    Do you suppose the Franken visit in DC over the last day or two was to explore all options?

    It would not surprise me.

    It is equally interesting that the Alaska recount is over and the felonious taker of unreported gifts lost on the count so that the question of having to seat him or not became a moot issue for the Senate.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, When I talked about editorializing less, that didn’t mean I wanted bloggers to stop offering their opinions. It was meant more in the sense that we should report news more often.

  • Ralph Kramden says:

    GG: “Also, if the oval isn’t filled in properly, the optical scanner will reject the ballot.”

    Is this true? According to my town’s clerk (in MA, not MN), the scanner might not register a vote for an incompletely filled oval but it won’t reject the ballot. It will only reject ballots that contain an overvote. (I don’t know if we use the same machines here, but the ballots are opti-scan with ovals).

    GG:”It’s my contention that only ballots that were rejected by the optical scanner should be subject to challenge.”

    That might be your contention, but that’s not MN law. MN law requires the judges to infer the voter’s intent from the ballot. If the Coleman oval pictured was marked substantially differently than the rest of the ovals on the ballot, I would admit there’s a basis for a challenge. If, on the other hand, the markings for other races on this particular ballot were similar to the pictured marking, then I’d say there was little basis for the challenge.

    Based on your answer to my original question (about the ballots you were looking at yesterday), I would think you would agree with me. Do you?

  • Ralph Kramden says:

    Anyone following this thread might want to go to:

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2008/11/19_challenged_ballots/

    11 ballots are pictured there, and you get to judge who gets the vote.

    I’m particularly interested in GG’s judgements of 4,7,9,10,11 and most especially #5 (Lizard People!)

    Voters do whacky things!

  • Ralph Kramden says:

    Ack – just to be clear about the last comment, you don’t LITERALLY get to judge who gets the vote on these ballots. It’s an informal internet poll, and in no way does it enter into the official ballot judgement.

  • Gary Gross says:

    RK, Here’s what I would’ve done with the 11 ballots:

    1) Reject the ballot
    2) McCain-Palin
    3) Reject the ballot.
    4) Reject the ballot.
    5) Al Franken
    6) sufficient evidence of intent
    7) Coleman
    8) Franken
    9) Barkley
    10) Barkley
    11) I said reject it but I wouldn’t have a problem with it going to Sen. Coleman because drawing through Franken’s name might well be an indicator.

  • Ralph Kramden says:

    I think I had the same except for 4 (Franken) and 11 (Coleman).

    But you blatant anti-Lizard People bias is noted. :-)

  • Ralph Kramden says:

    The thing about those ballots is – I thought ballots like 4 and 11 would be rejected by the reader as overvotes, and the voter would be given another ballot at the polling place.

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