Franken vs. Coleman: Cherry-picking absentee votes

The battle between Al Franken and Norm Coleman during the Senate recount is really heating up. Are we at the breaking point yet? 

The candidates sorted through the absentee ballots deemed wrongly rejected by local election officials to determine which should be counted in the final tally. The candidates did this based on a Minnesota Supreme Court decision, which gives the campaigns veto power on the ballots. 

Coleman's campaign has decided to veto many of the absentee ballots, which means he looks like a flat-out cherry picker. His choices to reject more ballots in the blue districts could be a coincidence, but Minnesotans aren't giving the candidates much slack anymore. 

Here is the latest on ballot rejections from the Star Tribune:

Coleman's camp, which rejected 59 of the 60 ballots set aside Tuesday in St. Louis County, objected to Graham's ballot on the grounds that the date next to her signature did not match the date next to the signature of her witness,
Jack Armstrong. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver has been closely following the race and is suddenly sounding a little ticked off: 
Quite a high percentage of absentee ballots were rejected -- 60 out of what had been reported yesterday to be 161 ballots under consideration in St. Louis County, or 37 percent. All but one of those objections were made by the Coleman campaign. Secondly, the Coleman campaign is getting away with blocking ballots for asinine reasons. In the case cited above, for instance, the ballot was rejected because the date provided by the voucher did not match the date the date provided by the voter. Not only is there no requirement that the dates of the signatures match -- there is no requirement that the signatures are dated, period. 
From my vantage point, Franken could possibly have played his hand more strongly on Monday, once it became clear that the Coleman campaign was making no pretense whatsoever of attempting to establish an objective, statewide standard for the counting of absentees, essentially just cherry-picking ballots and daring the Franken campaign to call them on it. The result of that process was that no statewide standards were agreed upon, enabling either campaign to apply different standards across different counties.
The first day of meetings on absentee ballots is further proof that the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision to give the candidates veto power was a bad choice and a way to keep their hands out of the recount. Instead of taking authority and determining exact rules for rejecting an absentee ballot, the Supreme Court put partisan campaigns in charge of determining if your vote should count. This system is clearly not working as Coleman has been able to reject ballots in districts he is likely to lose votes and try to add ballots in districts he might have a better chance of winning in. Candidates should not have the ability to throw away your vote with veto power. This is Minnesota's election, not the candidate's election and should not be in their hands.



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