Posted: January 9, 2009
MN Senate race: contest panel not yet appointed
The Minnesota Senate race is now in the election contest stage. Minnesota statewide contests are decided by a three-judge panel appointed by the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Chief Justice Eric Magnuson served on the state canvassing board and has thus recused himself from the appointing duty. The next most senior member of the Court is Justice Alan Page. He has not yet appointed anyone nor has he indicated whether he will seek the agreement of the campaigns on the compostition of the panel. Here are some of the news stories out today:
- The Minnesota Independent has a story about what's next in the contest process that discusses Page's background and current role. Another story reports that ballot form and design are unlikely to be changed if any election reform takes place in the near future. Legislators from both parties said correct completion of the ballot can be achieved with better poll worker training and voter education.
- The Minnesota Post has a recap of some events from the recount and state canvass that includes some analysis of the current Minnesota Supreme Court. One expert says the Court was largley in agreement in its 2008 decisions but that its so-called liberal members are often on different sides of issues.
- The Pioneer Press has a story about some of the voters who have just received notice that their absentee ballots were not counted. One woman's ballot was rejected by the Coleman campaign because it was witnessed by a notary in Texas who did not include the notary seal. She said she voted for Coleman and is considering legal action. The Coleman campaign is contacting selected voters whose ballots were rejected to see if they are interested in challenging the rejections.
- Many editorials have been written about Coleman's right to challenge the election results with most authors guessing that Franken would have done the same had the recount and canvass ended in Coleman's favor. The Star Tribune reports that a recent poll found that a slight majority of Minnesotans think Coleman should concede. Forty-nine percent disagree with Coleman's effort to overturn the recount result and 42 percent agree with it.