Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sweet sixteen, part 2

Back to the Coleman appeals of Canvassing Board decisions, even though the board has already rejected them, picking up with ballot 6.

6. Douglas County, Miltona, Ballot 2 - Pretty sure this is the right ballot since it actually has an ambiguity, though from name alone this other ballot could have been the one. This was ruled an undervote, not a vote for Coleman.
7. Dakota County, South St. Paul P2 W1, Ballot 1 - Another ballot with an X through the filled oval, also ruled an undervote.

Both of these ballots have intentional cross-outs. My criterion is that no other blackened ovals are Xed out. I think they were correctly ruled by the Canvassing Board. However, one of the comparable Franken votes has the same problem. Hubbard County, Lakeport Township, Ballot 1 is an undervote, while Blue Earth County, Mapleton, Ballot 8 is ruled correctly as a Franken vote because there are other votes with similar crossing marks in the oval.

8. Dakota County, Eagan P4, Ballot 1 - The comparable is Benton County, Langola, Ballot 1, and I agree they should be ruled the same way, which adds a vote for Coleman. Both have marks that combine a filled oval and an X, but there's precedent elsewhere on the ballot for that being an intended vote.

9. Dakota County, Eagan P12, Ballot 1
10. Le Sueur County, Waterville, Ballot 14
11. Hennepin County, Minneapolis W8 P4, Ballot 2 - Probable voter name only.
12. Hennepin County, Plymouth W4 P20, Ballot 1

All these ballots were ruled to be spoiled by identifying marks, but most of them were redacted from the public copies. The comparables (first 3 for Coleman, last 2 for Franken) from the Coleman campaign are:

  • Ottertail County, Fergus Falls W1 P2, Ballot 2 - Editorializing on the ballot but no name.
  • St. Louis County, Duluth P27, Ballot 2 - Write-in with a phone number. Could be the voter, but a write-in should be a legitimate vote.
  • Wright County, Buffalo P1, Ballot 9 - Explanation to the counting machine (!?) with an apparent voter name.
  • Hennepin County, Plymouth W3 P15, Ballot 2 - Explanation of cross-outs, although redaction makes the full picture less than obvious.
  • Big Stone County, Odessa, Ballot 1 - Probable voter name crossed out.
Without seeing the redactions, it's hard to judge these ballots. Arbitrarily, I'm going to disqualify any ballot that needs to be redacted, as well as ballot 11, the third Coleman comparable, and both Franken comparables.

It's possible that I'm wrong to do this. The Canvassing Board could be enforcing a single standard that I just haven't heard about - or so I hope. It's possible that they want to accept any ballot for which the alleged distinguishing marks have another clear purpose.

Net tally so far (including the previous ballots): +4 for Coleman, -4 for Franken

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