I just returned from the Stearns County clerk’s office. The clerk’s office in just down the hall from where they’re doing the recount. While at the Clerk’s office, I asked if they’d heard if they’d finish the recount today as scheduled. The people there weren’t certain because they were now checking the backs of ballots.

Though the people in the Clerk’s office weren’t certain who was doing this, I’m betting that it’s Franken’s people who were asking for that. I can’t picture Sen. Coleman’s people doing that since they’re ahead. This tactic will certainly slow this process down while having little impact on the outcome.

Since a lawsuit is sure to be filed by the candidate who’s trailing, I decided to check on whether Minnesota Election law speaks to that. Here’s what I found:

209.021 NOTICE OF CONTEST.
Subdivision 1. Manner; time; contents.
Service of a notice of contest must be made in the same manner as the service of summons in civil actions. The notice of contest must specify the grounds on which the contest will be made. The contestant shall serve notice of the contest on the parties enumerated in this section. Notice must be served and filed within five days after the canvass is completed in the case of a primary or special primary or within seven days after the canvass is completed in the case of a special or general election; except that if a contest is based on a deliberate, serious, and material violation of the election laws which was discovered from the statements of receipts and disbursements required to be filed by candidates and committees, the action may be commenced and the notice served and filed within ten days after the filing of the statements in the case of a general or special election or within five days after the filing of the statements in the case of a primary or special primary. If a notice of contest questions only which party received the highest number of votes legally cast at the election, a contestee who loses may serve and file a notice of contest on any other ground during the three days following expiration of the time for appealing the decision on the vote count.
Subd. 2. Notice filed with court. If the contest relates to a nomination or election for statewide office, the contestant shall file the notice of contest with the court administrator of district court in Ramsey county. For contests relating to any other office, the contestant shall file the notice of contest with the court administrator of district court in the county where the contestee resides.
If the contest relates to a constitutional amendment or other question voted on statewide, the contestant shall file the notice of contest with the court administrator of district court in Ramsey county. If the contest relates to any other question, the contestant shall file the notice of contest with the court administrator of district court for the county or any one of the counties where the
question appeared on the ballot.

Ramsey District Court appears to be Ground Zero for statewide election disputes. From there, it would got to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, then to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Minnesota Court of Appeals “provides the citizens of Minnesota with prompt and deliberate review of all final decisions of the trial courts, state agencies and local governments.”

Unless something totally unforeseen happens, this case will be heard by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The other X factor in all this is the United States Senate. They can vote to seat either of these candidates. I can’t see them exercising their right to seat Franken if he’s trailing. Every Democratic senator that votes to seat Al Franken will be tarred and feathered with this. They’ll be ridiculed, especially after they’ve made an eith year mantra of count every vote.

It’d be politically difficult to justify seating Franken. The outrage over their arrogance would make Democrats toxic during the next election cycle.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

6 Responses to “The Latest From the Recount”

  • Gary,

    You said they’re checking the backs of the ballots? I don’t think that’s legal.

    Per the recount rules

    Subd. 2.From face of ballot only.

    Intent shall be ascertained only from the face of the ballot.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Master, What I was told is that it’s pertinent because of other markings on the ballot.

    I agree that voter intent can only be determined from the face of the ballot. That doesn’t determine whether the entire ballot is improper, though.

  • J. Ewing says:

    It would almost be worth seating Franken just to have the US Senate turn back to Republicans in 2010. Almost.

    Personally, I prefer just letting it be known that Democrats are /considering/ such an action, and let them be tarred by that. After all, they’ve skated by on so much based on “good intentions,” maybe it’s time they got pilloried for bad intentions.

  • I’m not clear on why they’re looking at the backside if not to determine voter intent.

    I suppose if a voter made an identifying mark on the back side, that might make the ballot void.

    Is that what they’re looking for?

  • Gary Gross says:

    I’m not clear on why they’re looking at the backside if not to determine voter intent.I suppose if a voter made an identifying mark on the back side, that might make the ballot void.

    BINGO!!!

  • Cindy Merrill says:

    I’m worried; you should be too.
    First the govenment took over GM, then our Healthcare system, now they want to control food suppliments- the restrictions and red tape will most assuredly drive up prices- those of us with tight budgets will be forced to cut back on our purchases. Of course, the US Congress has been bought out by the Large Drug companies a long time ago- you know that, right? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100329/ap_on_go_co/us_health_overhaul_pharma_s_big_win
    Did you think Healthcare Reform was about helping the needy? Think again. The problem is, natural remedies keep people healthy, which reduces the profits for the the DNC and RNC’s largest campaign money contributers- the Drug companies. I strongly urge you to fight back, mount a national AD offensive while there’s still time! The US Government doesn’t give a Damm about “protecting consumers” …This is about power and money. Please take this seriously.

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