ECC Requests Delivery of 400 Ballots

After deliberating for about three weeks, the Election Contest Court broke their silence by releasing two orders, with more likely to follow. The first order governs the court's request for the delivery of exactly 400 absentee ballots, that have yet to be counted, to the Secretary of State's office for further review. The full text of the order is excerpted below; the memorandum follows within the provided PDF:


1. The following materials shall be provided to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State no later than 12:00 noon on April 6, 2009 for review by the Court:

a. The absentee ballot return envelopes for the individuals identified in Exhibit A;

b. The absentee ballot return envelopes, absentee ballot applications, and federal postcard applications for the individuals identified in Exhibit B; and

c. The original voter registration application and absentee ballot return envelope for the individual identified in Exhibit C.

2. Absentee ballots determined by the Court to be legally cast shall be opened and counted on April 7, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 300 of the Minnesota Judicial Center 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.

3. A copy of this Order shall be furnished to each of the County Auditors, who shall be responsible for locating the ballots identified herein. All such ballots shall be transmitted to the Secretary of State pursuant to the directions in Exhibit D.

4. Legally cast absentee ballots shall be opened, sorted and counted by the Office of the Secretary of State in open court. Opening, sorting and counting shall proceed using the same methods as described in the Minnesota Supreme Court's Order of December 24, 2008. Upon opening, sorting and counting, the ballots shall be completely and finally separated from the envelopes in accordance with Minnesota's policy of ballot secrecy. The totals from the opening, sorting and counting shall be included in the results of the 2008 United States Senate election reported by the Minnesota Secretary of State.

5. The Court's Memorandum, attached herewith, is incorporated herein.

6. Any other relief not specifically ordered herein is DENIED.

Source: Order for Delivery of Ballots to Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State for Review by the Court via

The three previously referenced exhibits contain the 400 voters whose ballots have been deemed worthy of future consideration for inclusion by the Election Contest Court. I have digitized the contents of these three exhibits below:

Exhibit A: 393 Voters, [CSV, 14KB]
Exhibit B: 6 Voters, [CSV, 1KB]
Exhibit C: 1 Voter, [CSV, 1KB]

Now, using the data provided above, an extrapolation can be preformed to determine the probable outcome of these 400 ballots. The most interesting case assumes complete inclusion, although other scenarios are provided:

Extrapolations: ECC Requests by City [PDF, 127KB]

                      Identified       Extrapolation
                        Voters      Coleman      Franken
Total                     400        166.95       168.42
    Coleman Regions       242        116.60        84.95
    Franken Regions       158        50.35         83.47

If each and everyone of these 400 ballots is analyzed and eventually counted, Franken's lead will increase by about 1.47 votes based upon a linear extrapolation of the recounted vote totals within each voter's county/precinct/city; Franken already leads by 225 votes as certified by the Minnesota State Canvassing Board on January 5th. Despite the favorable extrapolation for the Franken campaign, it remains impossible to predict the outcome of these 400 ballots; but we do know the destiny of four ballots.

The second order released by the ECC on Tuesday dealt with four petitioner's motion for summary judgment; the court's orders are presented below:

This matter comes before the Court on Petitioners' Second Renewed 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' Second Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment is granted in full.

2. That portion of the Court's March 11th Order granting summary judgment to Petitioners Donald and Donelda Applebee is vacated.

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

4. Any other relief not fully set forth herein is expressly denied.

Dated: March 31, 2009

Source: Order Granting Peitioners Second Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment via

The court granted four voters their requested summary judgment meaning their votes will be opened and counted by the ECC. It should also be noted that the four petitioner's names can be found within one of the three aforementioned exhibits. The order also vacated or undid a previous order granting the inclusion of two other voters' ballots. At the end of the day, at least four more ballots will be opened and counted, with the possibility of 396 still in the balance.

We may also learn more about the court's view on double counting in the interim as the requested absentee ballots trickle into the Secretary of State's Office before the April 7th deadline. If the counting of some or all of the 400 requests does not materially change the situation, the court will still address all other counting issues for the sake of thoroughness, in the event of an appeal to the MN Supreme Court by either campaign.

Update [6:07 AM CT] I've recomputed the above extrapolation to reflect the Nauen petitioners; I'll have a more complete synopsis later today or tomorrow. The new data implies that Franken will increase his lead by about 35 votes.

Updated Extrapolation: ECC Requests by City [Nauen] [PDF, 137KB]

Update II [6:20 AM CT 4/5/09 ] I found a series of errors within the original extrapolations; I've since updated the entire article to reflect these corrections, including links to the updated PDFs. I'll hopefully have time tomorrow to get write the article I intended to write today regarding the universe of absentee ballots which are to be counted.

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1 Response(s) to ECC Requests Delivery of 400 Ballots

4/2/2009 6:30:13 PM CT

Omigosh, you haven't made a new blog on the recount in such a long time!

thank you for posting this!

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