State Supreme Court issues timeline for hearing Republican recount petition

The recount petition filed Wednesday by Republicans in the Minnesota governor’s race will be quickly considered by the state Supreme Court.

All filings in the case are due to the court by 4 p.m. Friday and, if needed, oral arguments will be Monday, the court said.

The state Republican Party and candidate Tom Emmer’s campaign said they want to know if votes were properly reconciled in each precinct — that is, whether election judges determined if the number of voters signing the register was equal to the number of votes counted. They say in the 2008 election, there were tens of thousands more votes than voters.

The court’s order (PDF) this morning says:

“Petitioner alleges that in determining the number of ballots to be counted in the 2010 general election, some local election officials counted the voter receipts handed to voters on election day instead of counting the signatures of voters on the polling roster as provided in Minn. Stat. § 204C.20 (2008). Petitioner asks the court to order the Minnesota State Canvassing Board to conduct a state-wide determination, prior to its certification of the correctness of the election results for governor, of the number of persons voting on election day, and therefore the number of ballots to be counted, based on the number of signatures on the polling rosters. Petitioner further asks that we order local election officials to participate and assist in this determination.”

The court must resolve the issue quickly to keep the recount process on schedule: The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday, followed by an automatic recount scheduled to start Nov. 29.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Joel Gingery on 11/18/2010 - 11:30 am.

    Joe,
    Could you follow up the GOP’s contention that in the 2008 election there were tens of thousands more votes cast than voters? Was this contested then, and, if so, what happened? This is a serious charge that could mean the wrong candidates were declared winners or Al Franken won by a lot more than some 300+ votes.

  2. Submitted by John Ferman on 11/18/2010 - 12:09 pm.

    When one identifies oneself to sign-in table and signs the book, one is haned a slip, that one trades for a ballot at the ballot table. Now one proceeds to a shielded table and affixes one’s marks (filled-in ovals). Next one proceeds to the machine and feds the ballot in. The Rs are alleging that signatures, slips and counted ballots are not precisely equal; therefore, election fraud was committed. It is easy to see how there could be fewer ballots: suppose the voter bungled and the ballot reader kicked the ballot back. Suppose further that the polling place is very crowded and there is a long wait for an open booth and the voter is already late for a compelling appointment. So the voter says, Nuts to it all and rips the ballot to pieces and stalks out. But if there are more slips than signatures then there must be too many ballots, too. How does the Court decide which ballot to yank out, mine or my neighbors. This GOP ploy is just a delayer, to keep Pawlenty in office so the Rs can ramrod a royal screwing of the average folks.

  3. Submitted by Jim Roth on 11/18/2010 - 02:20 pm.

    To say the least I am astounded at this allegation coming forward at this late date after how heavily contested and litigated the 2008 election results were. And former Chief Justice Magnuson, now counsel for the Emmer campaign, was, to say the least, intimately involved in the review and approval of the 2008 results. What gives?

  4. Submitted by Tim Walker on 11/18/2010 - 03:31 pm.

    To Jim (#3):

    Indeed.

    It makes one wonder how Magnuson is sleeping these days.

  5. Submitted by Don Medal on 11/18/2010 - 04:17 pm.

    This is the way counts have been done in many counties for years and years. Why bring it up now, as compared to 3 months (or 3 years) before the election?

    Assuming the election judges and/or observers are awake and sober I don’t see how you get a receipt without a signature? The rules say count either.

    I think the petitioners should have to show why the two counting methods, one quick and one prolonged, would be different. It obviously didn’t bother the election judges at the time. Why does it only bother them after their candidate lost?

  6. Submitted by Erich Russell on 11/18/2010 - 04:29 pm.

    Or perchance this is one of those “facts” that is manufactured by its online repetition?

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