9:25— The hearing is scheduled to convene at 9:30 CST. The only recount issue scheduled to be dealt with is whether the Board does or doesn’t have the authority to demand that rejected absentee ballots will be included in the recount. Minnesota Election Law clearly states that that determination must be made by the judiciary. Though I’m not a lawyer, that’s the ruling I expect.
9:28— Mark Ritchie is now calling the hearing to order. Minutes for last week’s hearing have been approved.
9:30— Gary Poser is giving the report on the recounts in SD-16, HD-12B and HD-16A. (Poser botches Alison’s name and Lisa Fobbe’s name.)
9:32— The Canvassing Board just voted to accept Mr. Poser’s report.
9:33— “Attorneys from both parties” believe that they can get together and eliminate most of the challenges.
9:35— Sherburne County election official (Ms. Botzek) says that 800+ ballots were challenged out of 15,000+ ballots being recounted.
9:37— Chief Justice Magnuson sets an ominous tone, saying that both campaigns have a responsibility to make only responsible challenges. Justice G. Barry Anderson concurs.
This has to give Franken pause. Chief Justice Magnuson’s tone was terse.
9:41— Ritchie now dealing with rejected absentee ballots. 288,000+ people cast absentee ballots, 12,000+ were rejected. Ritchie says that “people have stopped me in the hallways” saying that the Canvassing Board doesn’t make
9:44— G. Barry Anderson makes motion to not include rejected absentee ballots in the recount. Justice Anderson says that Minnesota State Statute doesn’t provide authority for dealing with rejected ballots. Justice Anderson further states that there isn’t a precedent saying that the Canvassing Board can make such rulings. He notes that the legislature “didn’t use broad language” in the legislation, citing MSS 204C.31.
9:48— Judge Cleary is now speaking in opposition of Justice Anderson’s opinion. Judge Cleary acknowledges that other states’ courts cases aren’t on point. “An election challenge is sure to follow.”
9:55— Judge Gearin states that it’s a “jurisdictional matter for me”, stating that it isn’t within the Canvassing Board’s authority to rule on the matter. If this holds true, that’s 3 votes in favor of the courts ruling on the rejected ballots.
10:03— Chief Justice Magnuson is stating that the Canvassing Board is “a minsterial body, not an adjudicative body.” “It’s quite clear that we don’t have the authority.” “It’s apparent that we aren’t equipped to deal with this issue.”
10:07— Board approves Ritchie motion that the “Board rejects determining rejected ballots in the recount.”
10:09— They’re now dealing with ballots that accidentally got mixed into the wrong piles of ballots.
Cross-posted at California Conservative