There are strange goings on in Minneapolis. Ballots are popping out of no where. Even where the counts are were supposedly finished all of a sudden they are finding Al Franken ballots coming out of the woodwork. Its gotten so slimy that incumbent Senator Norm Coleman has requested an injunction to stop counting the absentee ballots until they can find out how this “ballot magic” is happening. Read the report below:
Coleman campaign requests halt of absentee ballot count
By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
Republican Sen. Norm Coleman sought an injunction to stop the opening and counting of 32 absentee ballots in Minneapolis, according to a copy of the court documents filed today provided to the Pioneer Press by Democrat Al Franken’s campaign.
The race between Coleman and Franken, fierce rivals for months for the right to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate, is headed for an automatic recount because Coleman’s lead is less than one half of one percent over Franken. Currently, Coleman has just a 221-vote advantage.
That slim advantage, which has been slipping as counties have verified the vote totals, has put increased scrutiny on every ballot.
According to the injunction filed by the Coleman campaign, 32 of those ballots cast by absentee voters shouldn’t be tallied because they were not opened on Election Day.
Minnesota voting rules dictate that all absentee ballots must arrive by Election Day in order to be counted — any ballots received after Nov. 4 of their year do not count.
According to the Franken campaign, Ramsey County held a hearing on the Coleman campaign’s request to toss those ballots this morning and a judge rejected the request.
On Friday night the director of elections for the city of Minneapolis, Cynthia Reichhert, told the attorney for the Coleman campaign, Tony Trimble, that she was in possession of 32 absentee ballots that she intended to “open and count” today, according to the request filed by the Coleman campaign.
“The integrity of these ballot(s) is in serious doubt,” the Coleman campaign’s request said.
Officials from the Coleman campaign did not return several phone calls for comment Saturday morning.
The actual recount of ballots won’t start until Nov. 19, after a state canvassing board meets to certify the results of the Nov. 4 election. Today’s filing to stop the 32 ballots from being opened is the second time the Coleman campaign has alleged something odd may be going on with the counting of ballots.
On Friday, the Coleman campaign filed a Minnesota Government Data Practices Act request seeking electronic voting machine reports and hand tally sheets from each of Minnesota’s 87 counties.
Cullen Sheehan, Coleman’s campaign manager, raised questions about why Coleman’s lead, which appeared to be more than 700 votes Wednesday morning, had diminishing all week.
Sheehan said Friday that it was “statistically dubious and improbable” that the tally changes had overwhelmingly benefited Franken.
“Instead, of the normal slight changes in vote totals one would expect during this process, we are now seeing huge chunks of votes appearing and disappearing,” he said in a statement.
The changes have benefited Franken, but they are not unprecedented. In the 2006 U.S. Senate race, Republican Mark Kennedy lost 3,700 votes while DFLer Amy Klobuchar lost 1,600, when final results reported by the Associated Press two days after the election are compared with the official results on file at the secretary of state’s office.
Tony Trimble, a lawyer who filed the campaign’s request, said the initial feedback was worrisome, including an election tally dated Oct. 31. He said he didn’t know whether it was an honest mistake or something more sinister.
“If you have something that was dated four or five days before the election, it bears further scrutiny,” Trimble said.
The Franken campaign officials said Saturday that Coleman officials are trying to “deprive Minnesota voters of their civil rights.”
Andy Barr, Franken’s communications director, said in a statement: “Ever since the routine process of canvassing to ensure that every vote is counted began, the Coleman campaign has been attempting to obstruct it. And, in typical fashion, they have now gone to court to shut down the count. This stealth attack on an early Saturday morning is a disgusting attempt to disenfranchise voters who did nothing wrong, and we will fight hard on behalf of Minnesotans who deserve to have their voices heard.”
Maybe this has something to do with it:
In 2006, the Minnesota ACORN Political Action Committee endorsed Ritchie[Minneapolis Secretary of State] and donated to his campaign. According to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, contributors to Ritchie’s campaign included liberal philanthropists George Soros, Drummond Pike, and Deborah Rappaport, along with veteran community organizer Heather Booth, a Saul Alinsky disciple who co-founded the Midwest Academy, a radical ACORN clone. One article on Ritchie’s 2006 campaign website brags about the fine work ACORN did in Florida to pass a constitutional amendment to raise that state’s minimum wage.