The Canvassing Board Meets

The entire proceeding can be watched live, at

9:25 AM CT: The board is discussing the possibility of going back into the pile of challenges to re-review some questionable ballots. There are apparently 16 ballots that were marked with an X; from these 16 ballots, the board discerned that the X was written in a "different ink," or on a different plane (above or below another mark) on the ballot.

9:31 AM CT: The board is now considering whether to actual "pull" and review those ballots. Apparently it would result in reviewing 40 total ballots due to the comparisons requested; the clerk estimated that the review would take about half an hour.

9:33 AM CT: If they review those 16 ballots, as requested by the Coleman campaign -- which would require 40 total ballots to be reviewed -- the Franken campaign has argued that they also have a select group of ballots they would like to have re-reviewed.

9:35 AM CT: An hour long recess is forthcoming as they sort through the challenges and "pull" the 40 ballots in question. Recess until 10:30 AM CT.

9:47 AM CT: On a side note; Coleman counsel, Fritz Knaak was just semi-complaining about the recess. After the recess, Mr. Knaak preceded to the back of the room to get his get something in his laptop bag. On the way, a member of the audience asked Mr. Knaak if "[he] got paid" for waiting. Mr. Knaak responded by saying, "wait, its what lawyers do." At the same moment in time, Franken counsel, Marc Elias was talking with a group of about four people who were laughing. Bottom line: Knaak is nervous and Elias seems at ease.

In the meantime, let's look at the composition of the Minnesota Supreme Court:

Justices are elected to six-year terms unless a mid-term vacancy occurs, in which case the governor appoints a replacement to finish the term. Justices have a mandatory retirement age of 70.

Source: Wikipedia

Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson: (Member of the Canvassing Board)

Rise: Appointed by Republican Tim Pawlenty, 2008
Estimated Party Affiliation: Conservative Bio

Justice Alan C. Page:

Rise: Elected, 1993
Estimated Party Affiliation: Liberal Bio

Justice Paul H. Anderson:

Rise: Appointed by Republican Arne Carlson, 1994
Estimated Party Affiliation: Conservative Bio

Justice Helen M. Meyer:

Rise: Appointed by Independent Jesse Ventura, 2002
Estimated Party Affiliation: Independent/Democrat Bio

Justice G. Barry Anderson: (Member of the Canvassing Board)

Rise: Appointed by Republican Tim Pawlenty, 2004
Estimated Party Affiliation: Conservative Bio

Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea:

Rise: Appointed by Republican Tim Pawlenty, 2006
Estimated Party Affiliation: Conservative Bio

Justice Christopher J. Dietzen:

Rise: Appointed by Republican Tim Pawlenty, 2008
Estimated Party Affiliation: Conservative Bio

The two justices who are member of the canvassing board must abstain from participating, from the bench on any item related to the recount. That leaves five judges, two liberals, two conservatives, and an independent to decide on the double balot issue later today at 2 PM CT.

10:32 AM CT: Meeting reconvenes. The Coleman campaign has asked the board to compare their decision on a challenged ballot to that of other challenges.

10:33 AM CT: A motion is required to even begin reconsidering a ballot.

10:39 AM CT: The first two challenged challenges fell without a second motion.

10:45 AM CT: The board has yet to acknowledge a desire to reconsider any of these challenged challenges.

10:52 AM CT: The board still has not seconded a motion to reconsider their decision. A lot of the challenges in question have pertained to unanimous decisions by the board. I'll post the document containing the specific ballots later.

10:57 AM CT: All 40 ballots were reviewed and nothing happened. The board then sarcastically remarked that they would not acknowledge similar challenges from the Franken campaign.

10:59 AM CT: Recess until 9 AM CT on December 30th. They will validate their challenge counts.

The Supreme Court will convene at 2 PM CT to tackle the issue of doubly counted ballots. Check back for live coverage.

Update [8:29 PM CT 4/17/2009]: I updated the bio of Justice Paul H. Anderson to reflect the fact that he was originally appointed to the bench, not elected, as previously stated.

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