Dayton team wants changes in reporting daily recount totals to reduce frivolous challenges

In an effort to minimize frivolous challenges during the upcoming recount, Mark Dayton’s legal team has asked the Secretary of State’s Office to keep better track of daily results.

In a letter (PDF) to Mark Ritchie sent late Monday, Dayton’s lawyer Charlie Nauen requested that the secretary of state’s website report the “call at the table” each day. That is, the actual decisions made by local election judges during the recount.

In 2008, Ritchie’s office did not do that; instead, the official daily tally was skewed because challenged ballots were removed from the reporting of the count. 

This made it seem, at the time, that Sen. Norm Coleman was leading the recount when, in fact, he was losing ground to challenger Al Franken. Removing challenges from the recount tally, Nauen said in his letter, “contributed to the volume of challenges” in 2008.

In essence, increasing challenges — especially frivolous ones — games the secretary of state’s reporting system, alters the ongoing scoreboard and provides a false picture to the voting public. 

Nauen will make an argument today at the Canvassing Board about this detail.

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