Posted: December 3, 2008
MN Senate Race: 12/3 Update - Ritchie orders absentees to be reviewed by local officials
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has ordered local election officials to review roughly 12,000 absentee ballots to be sure they were rejected for the four allowable reasons to reject absentee ballots under Minnesota law. See the report here. An absentee ballot may be rejected if it lacks any of the following: (1) the voter's name in substantially the same form as on the ballot application, (2) a signed federal oath prescribed by HAVA, or (3) the same identification number as the voter submitted on the ballot application, if the voter has such an ID number. The fourth reason that a ballot may be rejected is if the voter has already voted at that election, either in person or by absentee ballot. Ritchie told officials to make a "fifth pile" of absentee ballots that may have been wrongly rejected but not to count them yet. Franken gained 37 votes from a cache of 171 ballots in Ramsey County that were found to have not been counted on election day due to machine and human error. Coleman leads Franken in the administrative recount by 303 votes and has challenged 3,093 ballots while Franken has challenged 2,910 ballots according to the Star Tribune's recount page here. The Franken campaign claims to be down by only about 50 votes according to the decisions made by election judges at the recount tables before any challenges are taken into account. Their assumption is that most of these calls will be affirmed by the canvassing board when they meet to review challenged ballots. See the report here. With Republican Saxby Chambliss' win yesterday in Georgia's Senate runoff election, the Senate race in Minnesota will remain intense but will no longer decide whether the Democrats will have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.