Posted at 7:55 AM on November 26, 2008
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The State Canvassing Board meets today and could make a ruling on rejected absentee ballots that could determine the outcome of the U.S. Senate race. MPR talks with some folks who think their ballot was wrongly tossed out. The Pi Press, Forum Communications and the Wall Street Journal set up the hearing.
Meanwhile, Coleman widens his lead over Franken in the latest round of numbers.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is concerned about the growing number of challenged ballots.
Coleman's campaign is calling for a truce on challenged ballots even though their campaign has challenged more ballots than Franken's campaign. It's kind of like running months of negative ads and then calling for an end to the practice.
Missing ballots have become an issue.
A new study says charter schools continue to do worse than public schools, are more segregated than public schools and are also making public schools more segregated. MPR and the Star Tribune have stories.
Eight are named to the Outdoors Council.
Two U of M researchers say bald eagles are dying from lead poisoning that was caused by fragmented bullets.
The Star Tribune reports that federal authorities are investigating whether several Somali young men have left the Twin Cities to participate in terror activities in their homeland.
U.S. cancer rates go down.
President-elect Obama is expected to name Paul Volcker to his board of economic experts. Obama will make the announcement for the third time in as many days.
Obama will keep Robert Gates as Defense Secretary.
An advisor for Obama says health care reform is high on Obama's agenda. The expert spoke at DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar's health care summit
Klobuchar hopes Obama will pick a strong Ag Secretary.
The Campaign Finance Institute says Obama didn't have as many small donors as hyped.
Posted at 8:57 AM on November 26, 2008
by Tim Nelson
Filed under: Recount
The Coleman campaign this morning offered an "olive branch" in the recount, after what they said was a sharp spike in challenged ballots in Sherburne County.
Actually, they used the word "debacle".
"The day ended last night with over 700 ballots challenged in this one county alone," said Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan this morning, noting that the number included BOTH campaigns. "We've told our folks that frivolous challenges cannot be the order of the day," he said. "But we can't unilaterally commit to stopping."
It was sounding a little like recount detente.
Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak even added a little more to the Reagan-esque "trust but verify" atmosphere: "This is the recount version of mutually assured destruction, you know. And it's going to be interesting in terms of diplomacy to figure out... I think the expectation is at some point here the campaigns are going to have to sit down and ferret out the more significant challenges from the ones that aren't."
MPR's Mark Zdechlik asked him what percentage of the ballot challenges were "non-meritorious."
Knaak "Hard to say. We're handicapping that as they come in. I don't have a percentage."
Zdechlik: "Is it the vast majority?"
Knaak: "I think a lot of them are on both sides. But again, that's decisions being made by people on the ground, that's the reason why we have our review process, and hopefully they do too. We look and we evaluate. We don't look. We don't fault, we don't blame."
Zdechlik: "What does 'a lot' mean?
Knaak: "I would say a majority, certainly, as we look at them on both sides, as we're looking at it now. But again, we're scrutinizing these carefully on both sides, and again it's up to the [canvassing] board."
Posted at 10:06 AM on November 26, 2008
by Tim Nelson
The five members of the State Canvassing Board have unanimously rejected a request to include rejected absentee ballots in the ongoing U.S. Senate recount.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said there may be more than 10,000 rejected ballots, possibly as many as five percent of the absentee ballots counted. A little under 10 percent of voters cast their ballots that way.
The board said that it was up for the courts to sort out the facts in the case, but that the board would only count what were
"I think we'd all like to avoid a lawsuit, but I think the statutory electory laws force us into this decision," said assistant Ramsey County District Court judge Edward Cleary.
Posted at 3:23 PM on November 26, 2008
by Tom Scheck
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is weighing in on the Canvassing Board's decision. Here's the statement:
REID: MINNESOTA VOTERS MUST NOT BE DISENFRANCHISED Washington, DC--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the Minnesota Canvassing Board confirmed that absentee ballots rejected by poll workers would not be included in the states Senate recount :
"Today's decision by the Minnesota Canvassing Board not to count certain absentee ballots is cause for great concern. As the process moves forward, Minnesota authorities must ensure that no voter is disenfranchised. A citizen's right to have his or her vote counted is fundamental in our democracy."
Coleman's campaign manager Cullen Sheehan responds with this statement:
"This is a stunning admission by the Franken campaign that they are willing to take this process away from Minnesotans if they fail to win the recount. It is even more stunning that the Democratic Senate leader would inject himself into the Minnesota election process. This says that Franken is fully prepared and armed to take this matter to the United States Senate and that the Senate will be receptive - even if Franken fails to succeed in winning the recount. This is a troubling new development. We call upon Al Franken to personally disavow his attorney's comments, and to commit to Minnesotans that he will not allow this election to be overturned by the leadership of the Democratic Senate. Al Franken owes it to the people of this state to reject any and all efforts to stop a Minnesota Senator from being sworn in on January 6th if Norm Coleman continues to be shown to have won this election after the recount."