The search for the missing 133 Minneapolis ballots is over.
In an email to MinnPost, Mayor R.T. Rybak’s spokesman, Jeremy Hanson, confirmed the decision to abandon the hunt.
“The City of Minneapolis Elections Department has completed its search for the ballot envelope containing 133 ballots from Ward 3 Precinct 1. The City has turned over both its election night results and recount results for this precinct to the Office of the Secretary of State and the topic is on the agenda of the State Canvassing Board for its meeting on Friday.”
Matt Laible, a city communications officer, told MinnPost, “We searched everywhere they could possibly be.”
He said the search actually was concluded Friday.
Earlier today, Al Franken recount lawyer Marc Elias reiterated a position expressed by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie last week: that the original votes on Election Night as recorded on election machine tapes could be accepted by the Canvassing Board.
Using those votes as the final count will be an advantage to Franken, who won the Dinkytown precinct handily.
Meanwhile, the Coleman campaign reacted with this statement from press secretary Luke Friedrich:
“We’ve maintained from the beginning of this incident that there should be no rush to judgment on what may have happened. The decision by a senior member of the Secretary of State’s office, as well as the Secretary of State himself, to insist there are missing ballots when there are any number of other plausible scenarios is disappointing. With today’s news, we would hope further review of these other scenarios will be conducted, rather than just accepting the political spin of the Franken campaign.”