Skip to comments.(GOP Former MN SOS, 99-07,) Mary Kiffmeyer slams (Coleman-Franken) U.S. Senate recount
Posted on 01/09/2009 4:23:56 PM PST by flattorney
- - Former GOP MN secretary of state says absentee ballots should not have been included in recount
Former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer is now criticizing the handling of the U.S. Senate election recount in the race between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman that ended with Franken on top. Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, now a freshman state representative from District 16B, did not speak publicly about the recount while it was ongoing, but is willing to talk about it now that the results are certified and the dispute has moved into the courts. Kiffmeyer, who from 1999 to 2007 held the Secretary of State post now held by Mark Ritchie, said she thinks an elemental mistake was made when absentee ballots were included in the recount.
Democratic candidate Al Franken was certified the winner of the race Jan. 5 by a scant 225 votes. Incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has filed a lawsuit disputing that result, charging that counties were inconsistent in the way they tallied mistakenly rejected absentee ballots. Coleman also alleges that 150 ballots were counted twice, and that 133 ballots missing from a Minneapolis precinct should have been excluded from the final vote.
Kiffmeyer says, the very word recount implies that only ballots cast in voting booths at election precincts on Election Night should be looked at a second time when a recount is triggered. Kiffmeyer, who oversaw a number of election recounts during her tenure in office including a hand count of the 2002 U.S. Senate results following the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone said that any second look at absentee ballots should have been deferred to the contest phase, the point at which a disputed election heads into civil litigation. I think absolutely that if that absentee process of accepting and rejecting [ballots] needs to be reviewed, it should be done under a contest phase, Kiffmeyer said. A court then would clearly have the authority to say, Heres how you do it and heres what you do. Thats the way it was with me. And I think thats a good way to do things. Thats sound.
Rules pertaining to the role of absentee ballots in a recount are not well defined, Kiffmeyer said. And you can tell that, because all of the rest of the recount has some well-defined and experienced rules, she said. As a result, according to Kiffmeyer, the U.S. Senate recount became a kind of quasi-recount/contest, creating a situation where the courts might now be required to overrule certified election results, rather than having a clear recount result up front. However, she said, once absentee ballots were included, the Minnesota Supreme Court should not have balked at deciding which of them should be included in the results. The court punted that issue back to county election officials and the two campaigns, ordering those entities to agree among themselves about which absentee ballots to include. The court then agreed to include 933 absentee ballots that the counties considered wrongly rejected, raising Frankens lead to 225.
Kiffmeyer said that since election officials included wrongly rejected absentee ballots in the recount phase, they should also have included wrongly accepted absentee ballots. If there are wrongly rejected [ballots], then you also have to accept the fact that there are wrongly accepted [ballots], she said. And they never went there, they never went into wrongly accepted. They didnt take a global look at everything. She acknowledges that doing so would have meant opening a huge can of worms. Once you stray off that, she said, where do you quit once you open that door?
Kiffmeyer has little sympathy for voters whose cast ballots were not clearly marked. My personal feeling sometimes is that I dont know that I owe it to you to figure out your confusing ballot, she said. Maybe youre just confused. And how am I going to figure out your confusion? Minnesota law, however, requires that election officials in a recount situation delve into the intent of the voter as Kiffmeyer acknowledges if intent can be clearly determined. But if it is so confusing that youre really taking kind of a blind guess, then OK, its undecided, Kiffmeyer said. Its no vote for anybody.
01.08.09: The Stealing the (MN U.S. Senate) Election Project + Latest Coleman News & FlAttorney's Comments
01.09.09: Send in the Clown (Al SorosBoy Franken)
01.09/09: Why George Soros wants Norm Coleman out of the Senate (A Must Read)
Of course if the military vote was not counted; this should be considered too.
Well thanks Mary for leading the charge there.
Despite hearing heavy gunfire from the north, including distinct volleys at 4:20 p.m., Benteen concentrated on reinforcing Reno’s badly wounded and hard-pressed detachment, rather than continuing on toward Custer.
Of course, they didn't.
Mary, if you're reading these words, people and promised like those you made to me are the reason I will no longer work of vote Republican. Unless the Pubbies radically revamp their policy and honor their platform, conservatives of principle will not serve in the ranks. Compromise has killed our political chances - possibly for a generation - and continued ‘moderate’ policy will destroy the Republic.
A pox on moderation.
The gutless worm republicans finally found someone with balls. I’m sure she will be kicked out of the party next week.
Most of the Republican Party here in Minnesota is a spineless joke. But then, I really don’t care anymore. Soon I will be back in Texas and out of this sad joke of a state.
The truth is starting to leak out. Hooray!
Good move, Minnesota is one of the states people need to flee from. Look at their Senators.
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“Most of the Republican Party here in Minnesota is a spineless joke.”
More like: “Most of Minnesota is a joke!”
I’d love to move to Texas and out of this chickens#1t state....
If this wasn’t such a bat-crazy state, I’d say that Kiffmeyer should run against RItchie whenever his term expires. Wouldn’t be that hard of a challenge. Except this is Minnesota and once a DFLer gets entrenched, it takes a literal miracle to remove them.