More Extrapolations and Interventions

A few days ago I wrote about Norm Coleman's list of potentially wrongfully rejected absentee ballots by presenting a spreadsheet and a series of extrapolations. I've since updated the spreadsheet [csv] and recompiled the extrapolations using the Coleman provided breakdown of Hennepin County:

List of Coleman's Rejected Absentee Ballots

Download the complete table: PDF 108 KB

I find it curious that the Coleman campaign only separated regions within Hennepin County, but the table below seems to explain why:

   Scenario                               Coleman Net
   (1) 100% of Coleman's List Accepted:       44.80
   (2) Only Counties that Coleman Won:       368.87
   (3) 100% Accepted with 5% Coleman Bias:   267.70
   (4) Coleman Counties with 5% Bias:        509.97

   Listed from Franken Regions:               1,636
   Listed from Coleman Regions:               2,822
   Total:                                     4,458

Using our previous compilation as a baseline, the Coleman campaign is able to present a more mathematically appealing argument by differentiating between the various regions within Hennepin County. This separation, which I failed to take into account originally, places roughly 950 additional ballots into regions favorable to Coleman while subtracting nearly 850 from Franken friendly territory.

Coleman will likely gain votes from these 4,458 ballots, but the exact quantity remains to be seen; it's also likely that Franken will submit a similar set of ballots, so this difference may be offset.

Now onto a different front. There was news yesterday regarding the intervention of the seven petitioners represented by Bruce D. Kennedy; today brings an order regarding the group of 61 represented by Chris Nauen:

This matter comes before the Court on Petitioners Dennis Peterson, et. al.'s (''Petitioners'') motion for summary judgment. After consideration of the arguments of counsel, the written submission of the parties, and the pleadings in the case. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

1. Petitioners' Motion for Summary Judgment is granted in part and denied in part.

2. The following absentee ballots shall be provided to the Secretary of State at a date to be determined by the Court to be opened and counted at a date to be determined by the Court, and the total be declared and certified for such use as might be appropriate by the United States Senate, this Court, or any other proper use under law.

[List of 24 voter's and their associated counties]

3. The absentee ballot of Roxanna Saad of Dakota County shall be provided to the Secretary of State at a date to be determined by the Court to open the secrecy envelope to determine whether it contains a complete voter registration application. In the event that a complete voter registration application is found within the secrecy envelope, Ms. Saad's absentee ballot shall be opened and counted in accordance with section 2 of this Order.

4. The attached Memorandum is incorporated as if fully set forth herein.

5. Any requested relief not specifically granted herein is denied.

Source: Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Petitioners Motion for Summary Judgment via [PDF]

In short, the court agreed to open and review 24 of the 61 absentee ballots listed within Mr. Nauen's motion for intervention. The court was not convinced that the other 36 ballots merited inclusion based upon the evidence submitted. The Election Contest Court did leave the door open for further evidence, but at the moment, these 36 ballots will not be counted.

The Election Contest Court resumes tomorrow at 9 AM CT, with an important deadline set at 4 PM CT:

A. In order to streamline proceedings in this action, the parties are directed to submit briefing by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 on whether the ballots in the following categories are not legally cast under relevant law:

[Listing of nineteen categories.]

B. Hearing on the parties' submissions shall be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 12,2009.

C. Hearing on Contestants' Motion for Class Certification and Contestee's Motion in Limine to Exclude Testimony of Professor King Banian shall proceed thereafter.

Source: Order Establish Hearing on Motions via [PDF]

Professor King Banian teaches at St. Cloud State University and is a member of SCSU Scholars. If you recall, this group released a poll on October 22nd showing 21 percent of all Minnesotans as still undecided in the Senate race. The Coleman campaign has asked Prof. Banian to use his background in statistics to analyze the rejection rate of absentee ballots across Minnesota's 87 counties; a tall order, but the Coleman campaign has nothing to lose in trying.

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