Thursday, January 08, 2009

Maplewood 06

Of the few nits that Senator Coleman is going to pick in his election contest, the ONLY one that has caught my eye is the charge of duplicate counting, specifically with regard to more votes than voters. Only ONE precinct in the entire state, has more votes cast, than voters signed in on the rolls.

I had to dig around, at first, to find info on the only precinct whose numbers seemed very screwy. I found this article from early December that talks about the tumult in that precinct. A machine malfunction that snow balled due to human error.

The Machine malfunction causes 171 ballots to not get counted that night because there were never rerun through the machine after a counter was fixed.

County election officials said Tuesday the problem started on Election Day morning at the Hazelwood Fire Station in Precinct 6 in the heart of Maplewood. When a ballot counter kept jamming, officials called for a runner to swap out the broken counter with one that worked.

By then, 171 people had voted and their ballots had been fed into the ballot box. Ninety-one of those votes were cast for Franken, 54 for Coleman and 26 for other candidates.

When the new counter replaced the one that malfunctioned, officials said an election judge should have re-fed the 171 ballots back in so they would be counted on the official tape. Instead, they sat in the ballot box and then in secured transfer cases until they were discovered by recount officials Tuesday at the Ramsey County recount site on Plato Blvd.

The error was blamed on an election judge's failure to follow proper procedures, according to Karen Guilfoile, Maplewood's director of city services. She stressed that all the votes were properly cast and securely protected the last month.

And the more votes than people signed in controversy, it was simply human error not recording Absentee registrations.
A second election judge error in the same precinct had Coleman observers wondering why there were 31 more ballots than voters who had signed in on Election Day. Guilfoile said the mistake involved absentee voters who properly sent in their registration cards, but whose names judges failed to record on the voting rolls on Election Day.
The burden of proof is on the Senator to PROVE his case. Reasoanble explanations will properly explain the realities of election night workers and will eventually support the numbers as certifed this week

This was the only issue I thought Coleman had any real hope in showing serious electoral problems. Now that I know what happened, Norm is even more toast than I thought.

I welcome this contest, it will close the book and write the final chapter without prejudice.

Bring It On!


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