Just got off the phone with Paul Tynjala, director of elections in Saint Louis County, in which the suddenly infamous burgh of Mountain Iron sits.
Today, the Colemanistas are implying 100 new Franken votes that showed up on the Secretary of State’s website last night is evidence of fraud. As noted earlier, Mountain Iron’s deputy registrar says the current, updated SoS totals match hers from Election Night.
So why were 100 votes initally missing? A lousy game of telephone, Tynjala explains.
Like all Minnesota counties, Saint Louis County actually transmits the info to the Secretary of State. But the county is a huge one — 7,000 square miles — so local officials aren’t required to drop off their voting machine tape on Election Night.
Instead, they call in their numbers. Tynjala says someone wrote down “406” instead of “506” for Franken; he’s not sure who made the mistake.
The next day, when Mountain Iron’s tape finally came in, it showed 506 votes. That’s the figure that eventually made its way to the state website.
But couldn’t someone have added 100 votes to the machine (and thus the tape) after the “real” 406 number was called in?
Nope, Tynjala replied.
The handwritten Election Night sheet also contained a total Mountain Iron called in. If you added up each candidate’s vote — which no one did on a late, busy evening — it would be 100 votes short of the reported total.
But when the tape came in showing 506, that total reconciled. (Surely, the handwritten document will be entered into evidence at the inevitable court proceeding.)
Bottom line: the Coleman folks have to keep looking for Minnesota’s version of Palm Beach County.
[Update: According to the Strib, the Coleman camp also cites issues with the Mountain Iron machine’s timestamp, which was off by two days, as it was in a pre-election test.]