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Reply #17: Suspect Senate ballots may have innocent explanation [View All]

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 07:05 PM
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17. Suspect Senate ballots may have innocent explanation
Edited on Thu Feb-26-09 07:06 PM by struggle4progress
Local officials filled out the documents to record email and fax ballots from overseas, elections chief in St. Louis County says.
By PAT, Star Tribune
Last update: February 26, 2009 - 3:06 PM

... Numerous absentee ballot return envelopes had names and street addresses printed as if they were written by the same person. None of them were signed by the voters or witnesses, as required by state law, yet they were marked "accepted" by local elections officials.

Norm Coleman's lawyers on Wednesday released those absentee voting documents from DFL-leaning St. Louis County to bolster their argument that some ballots counted during the election would have been invalid under later rulings of the three-judge panel hearing the U.S. Senate election dispute.

But St. Louis County elections director Paul Tynjala today had a simple, innocent explanation: at least 60 of the envelopes at issue were filled out by local elections officials to correspond with documents signed and sent in by overseas voters. The overseas ballots, emailed or faxed to Minnesota, have a different format but appear to be properly filled out, and the corresponding envelopes were a way to keep track of them, he said ...

Coleman-Franken recount trial: A possible answer to the 300 odd St. Louis County ballots
By Jay Weiner | Published Thu, Feb 26 2009 3:20 pm

... Noah Kunin, the recount expert at the, reported .... on his blog: “UOCAVA ballots don't come with the traditional absentee ballot envelopes. They contain a homemade secrecy envelope, voter certificate and a ballot. Those are mailed to the various election units.

“In St. Louis County, they thought it would be a good idea, since those materials come in all sorts of different forms from around the world, to use BLANK absentee ballot envelopes to contain all the materials.

“Then, one City Clerk labeled them all with Names and Basic Addresses so those envelopes would be transferred to the right precinct.”

The UOCAVA application/certificate inside the envelope had the necessary statutory information, Kunin reports ...

County Says "Illegal" Votes Cited By Coleman Camp Are Really Legit
By Eric Kleefeld - February 26, 2009, 2:59PM

... Here's the deal: Overseas voters (typically in the military) receive special absentee envelopes that don't match up with the standard form that Minnesota uses. But Duluth has a policy of taking those overseas ballots after they receive them from the county, and then putting them inside standard Minnesota ones, filling in just enough info (name and address) to sort them out and get them delivered to the precincts on Election Night.

Thus, the county believes that those unsigned envelopes were in fact valid votes, that happened to be put inside envelopes filled out by county employees. County elections director Paul Tynjala just told TPM that he's confident the 60-plus envelopes he's seen were all in order, and the county is pulling the originals just to double-check ...
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