On Election Eve, Fox9’s Tom Lyden says 93 convicted felons have registered to vote this year, some from prison. They’re not allowed to vote. Twenty-nine registrations were already flagged, but 64 were unknown to authorities. Lyden used two basic databases, including a Department of Corrections list updated daily. However, state law limits the secretary of state’s office to infrequently updated county lists. SoS Mark Ritchie says he will ask the Legislature for that authority next year.
Minnesota Independent’s Chris Steller reprints a McCain campaign email getting Minnesota’s same-day registration rules wrong. The GOP missive makes registering seem tougher than it is; you don’t need an ID and a utility bill. The email also doesn’t say that a registered voter can vouch for you even if you lack ID. Obama’s communication gets it right.
Having cut zero TV ads for Al Franken, Barack Obama hasn’t exactly stuck his popular neck out in Minnesota’s Senate nailbiter. But he did at least utter nice words about Franken on WCCO-AM’s Don Shelby Show. MnPublius has the audio here.
By the way, I’ll be posting Election Day media-coverage updates at Braublog starting about 10 a.m. (if I get through the voting lines by then). Please bookmark or add to your RSS reader. An early morning appetizer: the Strib and PiPress both allowed themselves to be wrapped in an NRA-sponsored Norm Coleman ad. At least three U.S. papers rejected the practice as too biased.
The PiPress’ Richard Chin offers a fun look at Election Day’s artistic business implications. The Minnesota Opera dropped ticket prices from $110 to $20; the Guthrie cut rates, too. Bob Dylan has to delay his U show a half-hour to comply with state law, but at least he sold out quickly.
MPR’s Dan Olson looks at just the relatively small number of mortgage fraud actions. Hennepin County prosecutions number 25; the attorney general’s office is in for 10 lawsuits; the state Commerce Department 140 actions. About 66,000 homes have been foreclosed in the past three years. Of course, not every foreclosure equals mortgage fraud, but the system is creaky; it takes 10 months to open a Commerce investigation, for example.
Today’s talker: Seven-year-old Ramsey kid who found $85 and 2.2 grams of meth in his Halloween treat bag, the Strib’s Jim Adams reports. Maybe it was because the boy was dressed as a “ghoulish skateboarder.” Someone ran by on the route and dropped the stuff in the bag. Police were looking for a 24-year-old accused of assault at about the same time. If no one claims the cash in 90 days, the boy splits it with his 9-year-old sis. Aww.
The Strib’s Paul Levy delves deeper into that bizarre Andover murder where two siblings beat their brother with a baseball bat, ran him over, killed him with a crossbow and burned him in a fire pit. His brother and sister thought he was embezzling from the family business; he’d filed restraining orders against them. Mom calls the victim a “sociopath,” but sounds like she raised quite the brood.
The state’s biggest utility and its largest gas provider are seeking rate hikes, the PiPress’ Leslie Brooks Suzukamo notes. Xcel Energy wants a 6 percent overall bump to cover new transmission lines; that would cost the average user $6 more a month. Meanwhile, CenterPoint Energy’s 3.9 percent increase would tack on another $3 a month. Approval is never guaranteed; the state’s Public Utilities Commission is the decider.
Circuit City is closing 155 stores, but none in Minnesota, AP reports. That’s interesting in Best Buy’s home state. Analysts still expect a Chapter 11 filing before the holidays.
Nort spews: The U men’s hoopsters scored an unimpressive 88-80 exhibition win over St. Cloud State; Tubby Smith gave freshmen starting slots and major minutes.