Franken Wins, Coleman Contests

The Minnesota State Canvassing Board has certified the result of the Senate Recount. I've got complete video and excerpts from the four major events that took place yesterday in the Minnesota Senate race. I'll start with the complete proceedings of the Minnesota State Canvassing Board:

Gary Poser: And on page nine [of this document] our final vote totals, starting with Mr. Barkley with 437,505. Coleman with a, 1,212,206. Franken with 1,212,431. Aldrich the 13,923 and Niemackl the 8,907. Followed by the write-ins and registered write-in candidates on the succeeding pages. These vote totals then included all of the votes from the recount, including any absentees that were counted on Saturday. I have presented in these reports for your consideration. Let me ask for any questions.

Mark Ritchie: Thank you very much. Any questions for Mr. Poser? Do I have a motion to accept the Recount Canvassing Report as presented by Mr. Poser?

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson: So moved.

Mark Ritchie: Is there a second?

Ramsey County District Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin: Second.

Mark Ritchie: All in favor say "I."

Five Member Minnesota State Canvassing Board in Unison: I.

Mark Ritchie: Opposed, same sign.

Source: (*.wmv, 00:19:07, 219 MB)

There you have it, Franken wins the recount. The board agreed to the result and eventually went on to sign the recount certificate officially designating the result. This certificate is different than the election certificate that will eventually be cosigned by Gov. Pawlenty and SOS Ritchie; this certificate simply states that the votes have been counted and the canvassing process has concluded.

The Coleman campaign then immediately announced their intent to contest the result of the State Canvassing Board:

Tony Trimble: The actions today by the Canvassing Board are but the first step in what unfortunately will have to be a longer process. This process isn't at an end; it is now just at the beginning. We will contest the results, of the Canvassing Board; otherwise literally millions of Minnesotans will be disenfranchised. While we appreciate the effort of the Canvassing Board to do the work, the reality is that any certification of the vote totals at this point is only preliminary.


Reporter A: Do we need to do a whole other recount?

Fritz Knaak: Well in theory the answer to that question is yes, but that would depend on the parties and what the parties can agree to in the process of the recount. Our expectation is, what usually happens and Tony you can, I haven't anytime on that of course, but a our expectation is that we will reach an agreement as to a proposal.

Source: (*.wmv, 00:17:04, 194 MB)

The Franken campaign took a remarkably different approach during their press conference, which was to be expected:

Marc Elias: Today is a great day for the people of Minnesota. I stand before you proudly, as the attorney for the next Senator from state, Senator-Elect Al Franken.

Source: (*.wmv, 00:11:05, 127 MB)

Marc Elias also announced that Al Franken would not travel to Washington DC to be sworn in today.

Finally, Mark Ritchie held a brief press conference; I missed the first ten seconds or so because I caching video I had already recorded, but nothing notable happened during this time.

Reporter B: Is this process fair and accurate and true and are the results that you announced today accurate?

Mark Ritchie: As accurate as was humanly possible within Minnesota law. And the issues that were corrected by the State Supreme Court. For those voters in Baghdad and Kuwait whose ballots came in one day late and who were not included in the election, it breaks my heart. And we need to look at some of those issues, but this number that we came to today, 99.97% of the decisions at the local level were agreed to by both candidate's representatives and local officials. So that is an incredible agreement at the local level. 95% of the ballots that were challenged, we all agreed to 5-0 in the State Canvassing Board. All of the big decisions of the State Canvassing Board were 5-0 consensus and there were zero challenges to the wrongfully rejected absentee ballots counted on Saturday. So every step of the process has been one at a time, slow and meticulous, incredible consensus; this number is the culmination of that consensus process.

Reporter C: Mr. Secretary, do you believe that all lawful votes that were cast in this election were counted? Or are there some that were not and why was that and does that concern you?

Mark Ritchie: Well, within the order of the Supreme Court and within the laws of the State of Minnesota I believe all lawful votes were counted.


Reporter D: D you give me an idea how much the recount cost. Initially you said it would be about $75,000 do you know yet?

Mark Ritchie: We, our professional election staff anticipated there would be a recount, we made an agreement with the local officials, 3 cents a ballot, that was about $90,000. There's probably been another equivalent to that amount for all the copying, all the setup, everything else; this was going to cost somewhere around $200,000, or a little more. The other plan that the Secretary of States office here had developed in the past to do a statewide recount was actually estimated to be 2 million dollars. That was the process of bringing all the ballots to St. Paul and counting them. So this cost about one-tenth of what had been previously estimated, would be the cost of a statewide recount.

Source: (*.wmv, 00:06:12, 71 MB)

I'll update my maps either later tonight or tomorrow and post another article detailing the empirical results of the recount.

Note: If you are having trouble watching the embedded video I would recommend centering your screen on the video you want to watch and then refreshing your browser. For some reason this seems to work. If the embedded video still does not work I would simply download the file by right clicking and selecting "Save as..." from the resulting menu.

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