The Minnesota Recount: The Court Rules, Everyone Wins
by CA Pol Junkie
The Minnesota Election Contest court proceedings, available for live viewing at The Uptake, have been absolutely stupefying over the last few days. The Coleman campaign has been questioning election officials from Ramsey and Washington counties about individual rejected absentee ballots. On examination, the election officials say why each ballot was rejected. The Coleman campaign had two goals: to get individual cherry-picked ballots included in the count and to show that varying standards in different counties lead to an equal protection violation under Bush v. Gore.
Last night, the Court finally provided an order in the case. The order denies Coleman's request for a summary judgment to have all rejected absentee ballots re-checked under uniform state standards. It also states that voters are required to meet all four of the standards specified in state law for their ballot to be counted: the voter's name and address must match the name and address on the absentee ballot application, the voter's signature must match that on the application, the voter must be registered to vote, and the voter must not have also voted on election day. By insisting that voters must comply with the requirements of the law, the Court dealt a blow to Coleman by putting a strict limit on what ballots eventually might be included in the count.
The Court, while limiting what will ultimately be accepted and refusing to count all of even any categories of ballots, did allow Coleman to present evidence on 4,797 ballots one by one. While the Court's ruling reduced Coleman's chances of prevailing from very unlikely to infinitely improbable, Coleman and the GOP got the opportunity to drag the process out for a very long time when Democrats could really use Franken's vote.