It is very interesting to watch the Canvasing board … the Minnesota Secretary of State, a Supreme Court Justice or two, and so on, going over every single one of the challenged ballots.
The way they seem to be doing this is this: They are going through all of the Franken Challenges first. The Coleman challenges have to wait because Coleman’s people fucked up their removal of some of the challenged ballots so their ballots will not be ready until tomorrow. So, they go to each ballot, and it seems that Ritchie makes a move to reject the challenge each and every time, and then the other people have to vote in favor of the rejection (aye) or to maintain the challenge (nay). Then there is a certain amount of discussion and then they decide.
Right now they are looking at a Coleman vote that is a clear Coleman vote, but the voter clearly, and stupidly, put initials on the ballot identifying him/herself. That is clearly under the law a rejection. Let’s se what they do…
… Two for two on the motion of rejecting the challenge, and Ritchie changed the motion a little bit. Then another vote, two for two against, Ritchie breaks the tie and the challenge is rejected.
Hey Ritchie WTF???????????
The next one is a clear case .. filled in but also an X over the bubble.
OOOH OOOH One of the famous ballots is up now, one of the one’s that’s been on the tonight show and stuff!
Coleman and Franken both filled in, but Coleman is crossed out. Just like the last one where Coleman was crossed out but they gave it to Coleman.
OK, that one goes to Franken. Good job.
Don’t worry, I’m not really going to live blog the whole thing. Just making a few observations.
At this point, with the canvassing board going over these votes for the last four hours, even with a couple of breaks, they are getting quite giddy. Now they what how the good citizens, election judges and partisan volunteers alike, went through! (I quickly add that Secretly of State Ritchie has been there the whole time with this recount thing, moving from location to location, dealing with the press and the canddiates lawyers, etc.) This is not helped by the fact that most of the time they are often using double negatives.
Ah, the supreme court judge (I think) noticed they were getting giddy and asked for five minutes. So moved!!!!
Anyway, they have statements like this:
“I move to reject the challenge and affirm that the election judges decision that this is a Coleman vote” or “I move to reject the challenge and affirm the election judges’ decision that this is an overvote.”
Then, if the motion is accepted, they move on, and if it is not, then they have another motion “I move that this vote be allocated to Candidate Franken” or whatever.
… Well the big famous guys in suits have figured out that they were doin’ it wrong and that there was a somewhat more efficient way to do this . They are still not doing it the most efficent way possible (not even close). Hey, if you had a couple of historic archaeologists in there telling them how to do it they’d be done by now, no kidding.
So, they are looking at the original ballots instead of copies, because they are always being asked to see the original anyway. But the motion – making thing they are doing is totally slowing them down.
See, like this. This is what they are doing:
I would move the rejection of the challenge and the affirmation of the elction judge, and the allocation of this vote to senator Coleman.
We have a problem with this one … ah … look at this…
My motion is to reject the challenge. All in favor aye …
All opposed, same sign
aye aye aye aye aye
OK, in that case I move the rejection of this ballot for identifying marks. All those in favor of the motion signify …
Aye aye aye
This is one with possible identifying mark. Is there an identifying mark that invalidates the ballot?
yes yes yes
See? Wasn’t that easy?
My analysis so far: The original plan that there was going to be a shift of a net 200 votes towards Franken is not going to happen. There are a number that I’m pretty sure went the wrong way, like one I just watched: A clear over vote given to Coleman. So there is more uncertainty in the process now than there was this morning.
It is also kind of scary that some of the members of the board do not udnerstand the process at all.
At the moment, there are a few ballots being looked at that are clear Franken votes, and there are members who are saying “why is this a challenge. … oh, this must be a Coleman challenge” (but we know there are no Coleman challenges being looked at today)…. so a staff member jumps in and explains that these ballots are “special circumstance” ballots. Which they are not.
Now, the Franken lawer jumps up and tells them the truth … these are not special circumstance ballots. These are ballots that were in the “other” pile that the challenges have brought back into the Franken pile.
More confusion, less understanding, a bit of panic, some giddiness. Now they’ve totally lost track of what they are doing. Man, they should just let the Franken people handle this.
If only the judges would shut up and let the staff members and the Franken lawyer take over……