Anoka County recount: Day 3 (UPDATE)
The vote recount for the US Senate race in Minnesota reached Day 3 in our home county. While it was the first day the gal and I participated, we chatted with several volunteers who had been there each day.
Prior to the recount we were warned that the Al Franken supporters would make frivolous challenges of as many ballots as possible in order to get them to the Secretary of State's office. With Franken now trailing by only 149 votes, his minions will stop at nothing to gain votes or take some away from Senator Norm Coleman.
As was evident in our recount, they Frankenites are living up to the hype.
-At a table my where wife was working, there was a vote clearly cast for Coleman, the oval discernibly filled in. The problem was the smart aleck who cast that vote wrote in Franken's name for Soil & Water Commissioner on the opposite side of the ballot. Seeing that, the Franken camp decided to challenge that ballot citing an "over vote" (more than one vote cast for an office). If ruled in their favor, Coleman would lose that vote even though his name was the only one chosen under the Senate race.
-At a table I was observing, there was clear under voting (no vote cast at all) for the Senate race. However, there were indiscriminate little dots (smaller than a pin head) at various spots on the ballot, including one right above Franken's name. It was nowhere near the oval, yet the desperate Frankenites argued that it was meant to be a vote for their guy.
-But it was my wife who experienced the grand adventure of the day. A Coon Rapids precinct that was recounted indicated three less votes for Franken than were cited on the voting machine tape. The ballots were counted multiple times, yielding the same result. Since there was no way the Franken camp would accept that result, they demanded that the voting machine from that precinct be inspected to ensure all ballots were removed. From there, an election judge accompanied two Franken and two Coleman volunteers (including my gal) to Coon Rapids City Hall to inspect the machine in question. No ballots were found, which netted Coleman a plus-3!!!
Our county is a little more than half way through the 180,000 ballots cast. As a result, the gal and I will be back counting first thing tomorrow morning.
UPDATE: The Strib reported on my wife's City Hall excursion.
Anoka County officials discovered that a Coon Rapids precinct had three fewer ballots than the voting machine printout said should be in the box. The Coon Rapids city clerk and representatives from both campaigns drove to City Hall but didn't find them. The machine printout and the hand-count of the ballots indicated that the three ballots were votes for Franken.