Friday, December 12, 2008

Recount Update: State Canvassing Board Votes to Accept 133 Missing Ballots

The Minnesota Canvassing Board voted unanimously to include the 133 missing ballots from Minnesota 3-1 by using the election day tally. This adds a net of 46 votes to Franken's total.

From Polinaut's Liveblog:

10:08 AM Board votes unanimously to include the 133 missing ballots from Minneapolis in the official vote total.

10:07 AM Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson lauds elections officials, says there is no evidence to show the canvassing board should not accept the vote total results Reichert has offered and moves to do so.

10:05 AM"We believe there was 2,028 ballots fed into the counter machine that night," Reichert says. She says the roster shows 2,030 signed in, but that people do occasionally leave without actually voting.

10:00 AMReichert asks canvassing board to use election night totals, rather than hand recount with missing ballots. Attorney General Lori Swanson summarizes the legal situation. She says the canvassing board has the authority to use the election night returns, in her opinion.

9:56 AMAgenda moves to missing ballots from Minneapolis' Ward 3, precinct 1.

City election director Cindy Reichert takes to the witness table to talk about the missing ballots. "We thought as we went through the process... that they would come up," she said. They called the chief election judge at the polling place, but got no further indication of what happened.

A search went though spoiled ballot envelopes, ballot receipt envelopes, but found nothing. Search turned to an audit of the voting statistics, and a second search of the elections warehouse on Dec. 4.

"We determined definitively that the ballots were missing," says Reichert. The custodian at the polling reported he didn't find anything. Search expanded to City Hall, a van used to transport elections materials. Another warehouse search was conducted on Dec. 5.

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