Monthly Archives: November 2008

Mower County Auditor Brings Franken Observer To Tears

On Monday, Mower County Auditor Doug Groh stopped all counting to question an observer from the Al Franken campaign who wanted to challenge a ballot.  The challenge had been labeled as frivolous by Groh.Holding up the challenged ballot he says “I hope you have a clear understanding on what voter intent is. We have our jobs to do. Election judges have their jobs to do. We have our job to do.”This incident had apparently been going on for several minutes before this video was shot by another Franken volunteer Laura Askelin who was taking a vacation day from her job with AFSME to observe the recount for the Franken campaign.According to an Askelin, Groh continued to speak until the observer stated “I will withdraw if you stop humiliating me”.   The observer was brought to tears at this point. This happens at about 4 minutes into the video.  The observer is the woman with the headbnd and her back to the camera.  Even without seeing her face, you can see that she is visually upset.  After that, Groh is heard to say “the candidate for Franken withdraws the challenge.At the end of the day, the Franken campaign asked that the ballot in question be examined again.  The precinct box was reopened, recounted and this time was successfully challenged.Reached on Wednesday, Groh says the observer had stated that “she did not know what she was doing” when Groh questioned her on the statutes regarding voter intent.  In reviewing the challenged ballots he asked her “what [the] basis of the challenge [was].  She was unable to answer.”  Groh continues that he stopped the count to address the room because he “wanted to make sure they had an understanding of what they were to look at so we could facilitate the process and be done with that count in a timely manner.”Later that afternoon other Franken observers asked to review that precinct’s ballots again.  They challenged three ballots including the original ballot in question.Voices were again raised when Dale Chibester, Mower County DFL Chair, made a challenge.  “I can reject this challenge. Continue Reading →

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Mower County Auditor Brings Franken Observer To Tears

On Monday, Mower County Auditor Doug Groh stopped all counting to question an observer from the Al Franken campaign who wanted to challenge a ballot.  The challenge had been labeled as frivolous by Groh.Holding up the challenged ballot he says “I hope you have a clear understanding on what voter intent is. We have our jobs to do. Election judges have their jobs to do. We have our job to do.”This incident had apparently been going on for several minutes before this video was shot by another Franken volunteer Laura Askelin who was taking a vacation day from her job with AFSME to observe the recount for the Franken campaign.According to an Askelin, Groh continued to speak until the observer stated “I will withdraw if you stop humiliating me”.   The observer was brought to tears at this point. This happens at about 4 minutes into the video.  The observer is the woman with the headbnd and her back to the camera.  Even without seeing her face, you can see that she is visually upset.  After that, Groh is heard to say “the candidate for Franken withdraws the challenge.At the end of the day, the Franken campaign asked that the ballot in question be examined again.  The precinct box was reopened, recounted and this time was successfully challenged.Reached on Wednesday, Groh says the observer had stated that “she did not know what she was doing” when Groh questioned her on the statutes regarding voter intent.  In reviewing the challenged ballots he asked her “what [the] basis of the challenge [was].  She was unable to answer.”  Groh continues that he stopped the count to address the room because he “wanted to make sure they had an understanding of what they were to look at so we could facilitate the process and be done with that count in a timely manner.”Later that afternoon other Franken observers asked to review that precinct’s ballots again.  They challenged three ballots including the original ballot in question.Voices were again raised when Dale Chibester, Mower County DFL Chair, made a challenge.  “I can reject this challenge. Continue Reading →

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Mower County Auditor Brings Franken Observer To Tears

On Monday, Mower County Auditor Doug Groh stopped all counting to question an observer from the Al Franken campaign who wanted to challenge a ballot.  The challenge had been labeled as frivolous by Groh.Holding up the challenged ballot he says “I hope you have a clear understanding on what voter intent is. We have our jobs to do. Election judges have their jobs to do. We have our job to do.”This incident had apparently been going on for several minutes before this video was shot by another Franken volunteer Laura Askelin who was taking a vacation day from her job with AFSME to observe the recount for the Franken campaign.According to an Askelin, Groh continued to speak until the observer stated “I will withdraw if you stop humiliating me”.   The observer was brought to tears at this point. This happens at about 4 minutes into the video.  The observer is the woman with the headbnd and her back to the camera.  Even without seeing her face, you can see that she is visually upset.  After that, Groh is heard to say “the candidate for Franken withdraws the challenge.At the end of the day, the Franken campaign asked that the ballot in question be examined again.  The precinct box was reopened, recounted and this time was successfully challenged.Reached on Wednesday, Groh says the observer had stated that “she did not know what she was doing” when Groh questioned her on the statutes regarding voter intent.  In reviewing the challenged ballots he asked her “what [the] basis of the challenge [was].  She was unable to answer.”  Groh continues that he stopped the count to address the room because he “wanted to make sure they had an understanding of what they were to look at so we could facilitate the process and be done with that count in a timely manner.”Later that afternoon other Franken observers asked to review that precinct’s ballots again.  They challenged three ballots including the original ballot in question.Voices were again raised when Dale Chibester, Mower County DFL Chair, made a challenge.  “I can reject this challenge. Continue Reading →

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Franken Campaign Won’t Appeal Canvassing Board Decision Today

Mark Elias, a recount lawyer for the Al Franken campaign says the campaign will not appeal a decision today from the Minnesota Canvassing Board the said the board can not review rejected absentee ballots. The board did indicate it would be proper for local election officials to sort absentee ballots into piles based on the reason for rejection, including a pile for ballots that were rejected improperly.  
The campaign did not rule out making a challenge to the ruling in the future.  
Elias said the Coleman talks truces on challenged ballots, but still continues to run them up. Coleman’s campaign has challenged about one hundred more ballots than the Franken campaign. Continue Reading →

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Franken Campaign Won’t Appeal Canvassing Board Decision Today

Mark Elias, a recount lawyer for the Al Franken campaign says the campaign will not appeal a decision today from the Minnesota Canvassing Board the said the board can not review rejected absentee ballots. The board did indicate it would be proper for local election officials to sort absentee ballots into piles based on the reason for rejection, including a pile for ballots that were rejected improperly.  
The campaign did not rule out making a challenge to the ruling in the future.  
Elias said the Coleman talks truces on challenged ballots, but still continues to run them up. Coleman’s campaign has challenged about one hundred more ballots than the Franken campaign. Continue Reading →

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Franken Campaign Won’t Appeal Canvassing Board Decision Today

Mark Elias, a recount lawyer for the Al Franken campaign says the campaign will not appeal a decision today from the Minnesota Canvassing Board the said the board can not review rejected absentee ballots. The board did indicate it would be proper for local election officials to sort absentee ballots into piles based on the reason for rejection, including a pile for ballots that were rejected improperly.  
The campaign did not rule out making a challenge to the ruling in the future.  
Elias said the Coleman talks truces on challenged ballots, but still continues to run them up. Coleman’s campaign has challenged about one hundred more ballots than the Franken campaign. Continue Reading →

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Canvassing Boards Recommends Sorting Rejected Absentee Ballots

Minnesotas US Senate race may come down to 500-1,000 improperly rejected absentee ballots. The MN State Canvassing board says local election officials should sort those out. But does not rule what should happen with those ballots.  
Today the board ruled against a move by the Al Franken Campaign for the Canvassing Board to review the rejected absentee ballots directly. Continue Reading →

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Canvassing Board Recommends Sorting Rejected Absentee Ballots

Minnesotas US Senate race may come down to 500-1,000 improperly rejected absentee ballots. The MN State Canvassing board says local election officials should sort those out. But does not rule what should happen with those ballots.  
Today the board ruled against a move by the Al Franken Campaign for the Canvassing Board to review the rejected absentee ballots directly. Continue Reading →

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Canvassing Boards Recommends Sorting Rejected Absentee Ballots

Minnesotas US Senate race may come down to 500-1,000 improperly rejected absentee ballots. The MN State Canvassing board says local election officials should sort those out. But does not rule what should happen with those ballots.  
Today the board ruled against a move by the Al Franken Campaign for the Canvassing Board to review the rejected absentee ballots directly. Continue Reading →

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War And Peace On A Street Corner

Every Tuesday a group holds a peace vigil in Burnsville.  Sometimes they ask you to honk if you support peace.  Sometimes there are counter-protests to their peace vigil.  The guy in the cowboy hat is on the executive committee of the local Republican party.  And many of the people in the peace vigil are Democrats.  But this isn’t a story about politics. It’s a story about what happens when peaceful people meet conflict. Video and photos by Greg Skog.  Story by Michael McIntee Continue Reading →

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Missing Ballots, Hidden Totals

Al Franken’s campaign claims their candidate is gaining on Norm Coleman in the recount of Minnesota’s US Senate election. Lead Franken Recount Attorney Mark Elias says the challenged ballots (now numbering about 3,000) are masking the real results.  
Elias also express concern over several reports of missing ballots.  Some of those ballots have been found.  Others have not. Continue Reading →

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Missing Ballots, Hidden Totals

Al Franken’s campaign claims their candidate is gaining on Norm Coleman in the recount of Minnesota’s US Senate election. Lead Franken Recount Attorney Mark Elias says the challenged ballots (now numbering about 3,000) are masking the real results.  
Elias also express concern over several reports of missing ballots.  Some of those ballots have been found.  Others have not. Continue Reading →

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Missing Ballots, Hidden Totals

Al Franken’s campaign claims their candidate is gaining on Norm Coleman in the recount of Minnesota’s US Senate election. Lead Franken Recount Attorney Mark Elias says the challenged ballots (now numbering about 3,000) are masking the real results.  
Elias also express concern over several reports of missing ballots.  Some of those ballots have been found.  Others have not. Continue Reading →

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Coleman: Most Balllot Challenges Will Be Dimissed

Sen. Norm Coleman returned to Minnesota to visit an Xcel Energy nuclear plant training facility after several days working in Washington D.C.  This was one of the first opportunities reporters had to question Coleman on the ongoing recount.  Sen. Coleman discusses ballot challenges and nuclear energy. Continue Reading →

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Coleman: Most Balllot Challenges Will Be Dimissed

Sen. Norm Coleman returned to Minnesota to visit an Xcel Energy nuclear plant training facility after several days working in Washington D.C.  This was one of the first opportunities reporters had to question Coleman on the ongoing recount.  Sen. Coleman discusses ballot challenges and nuclear energy. Continue Reading →

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A Vote For Franken Is Really A Vote For Coleman? Challenged Ballots.

The Al Franken campaign today produced ballots challenged by the Norm Coleman for Senate and pointed out an interesting pattern. As you can see in the video there is a clear vote for Al Franken, but it the Coleman campaign appears to contend the vote should have been for Norm Coleman because the voter also voted John McCain for President.  
There are also two challenged ballots that have votes for John McCain and no vote for US Senate. The Coleman campaign challenged those for “voter intent” as well, indicating they think the vote should have counted for Norm Coleman.  
All of these challenged ballots came from Fillmore County. Continue Reading →

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A Challenging Recount Job

At the Hennepin County elections warehouse in Minneapolis, one calm person is in the eye of the storm between election judges, the media, and campaign lawyers: Cindy Reichert, Director of Elections for Minneapolis. Cindy describes the challenges that arose on the first day of Minnesota’s senate recount. We also take a look at a sampling of challenged ballots, including a glimpse of a “Mickey Mouse” ballot, and a bit of MN GOP chair Ron Carey being interviewed. Produced by Chuck Olsen for The UpTake Continue Reading →

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A Challenging Recount Job

At the Hennepin County elections warehouse in Minneapolis, one calm person is in the eye of the storm between election judges, the media, and campaign lawyers: Cindy Reichert, Director of Elections for Minneapolis. Cindy describes the challenges that arose on the first day of Minnesota’s senate recount. We also take a look at a sampling of challenged ballots, including a glimpse of a “Mickey Mouse” ballot, and a bit of MN GOP chair Ron Carey being interviewed. Produced by Chuck Olsen for The UpTake Continue Reading →

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A Challenging Recount Job

At the Hennepin County elections warehouse in Minneapolis, one calm person is in the eye of the storm between election judges, the media, and campaign lawyers: Cindy Reichert, Director of Elections for Minneapolis. Cindy describes the challenges that arose on the first day of Minnesota’s senate recount. We also take a look at a sampling of challenged ballots, including a glimpse of a “Mickey Mouse” ballot, and a bit of MN GOP chair Ron Carey being interviewed. Produced by Chuck Olsen for The UpTake Continue Reading →

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Election Official Rules on “Frivolous” Challenges

On Day 1 of the Minnesota Senate Recount between Al Franken and Senator Norm Coleman most recount locations ran smoothly and politely. However, there was a small amount of tension at the recount location in Ramsey County. Coleman campaign representative Bob Murray challenged two ballots that were for Franken. Ramsey County Elections Directory Joe Mansky declared the challenges “frivolous” and accepted the ballots for Franken. Franken’s campaign representative had challenged one ballot for Coleman. Continue Reading →

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Election Official Rules on “Frivolous” Challenges

On Day 1 of the Minnesota Senate Recount between Al Franken and Senator Norm Coleman most recount locations ran smoothly and politely. However, there was a small amount of tension at the recount location in Ramsey County. Coleman campaign representative Bob Murray challenged two ballots that were for Franken. Ramsey County Elections Directory Joe Mansky declared the challenges “frivolous” and accepted the ballots for Franken. Franken’s campaign representative had challenged one ballot for Coleman. Continue Reading →

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Election Official Rules on “Frivolous” Challenges

On Day 1 of the Minnesota Senate Recount between Al Franken and Senator Norm Coleman most recount locations ran smoothly and politely. However, there was a small amount of tension at the recount location in Ramsey County. Coleman campaign representative Bob Murray challenged two ballots that were for Franken. Ramsey County Elections Directory Joe Mansky declared the challenges “frivolous” and accepted the ballots for Franken. Franken’s campaign representative had challenged one ballot for Coleman. Continue Reading →

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Glitches On First Day Of US Senate Recount In Minneapolis

Minneapolis has more than 209-thousand ballots to recount in the next few days for Minnesota’s US Senate race.  The time that it will take to count those ballots got a little longer today when the recount had to start over because ballots with identifying marks were not being pulled aside.  In Minnesota, marking a ballot with your name or initials invalidates the ballot.  
The UpTake’s Chuck Olsen talks to Minneapolis Elections Director Cynthia Rechert about the problems of the first day of oounting. Continue Reading →

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Glitches On First Day Of US Senate Recount In Minneapolis

Minneapolis has more than 209-thousand ballots to recount in the next few days for Minnesota’s US Senate race.  The time that it will take to count those ballots got a little longer today when the recount had to start over because ballots with identifying marks were not being pulled aside.  In Minnesota, marking a ballot with your name or initials invalidates the ballot.  
The UpTake’s Chuck Olsen talks to Minneapolis Elections Director Cynthia Rechert about the problems of the first day of oounting. Continue Reading →

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