Posts Tagged ‘senate’

Senator Al Franken

Building off Art’s post, we got what we asked for.

Let the jokes begin. And the court battles, of course.

Photos from the Recount

I was bored today, so I decided to go visit the Minneapolis Ballot Warehouse, where all ballots in the city are (slowly) being recounted. My goal was twofold – one, get as many photographs as possible so I could do a blog post for the Metblog. And two, to get a photograph of a challenged ballot for Wikipedia. Recently, I’ve been contributing to the bulk of the Wikipedia article on the Senate race, and the article would be infinitely sweetened by a few Creative Commons-licensed photographs. By the way, all of these photographs are Creative Commons-licensed, so feel free to steal them and post them as you will – just credit me for them.

Anyways, my trip was only a moderate success. I’ve gotten photographs, but none of them are very interesting. After asking her a few times, the Director of Elections for Minneapolis had refused to allow me access to the contested ballots “as an administrative decision,” meaning she didn’t damn well feel like it. So the only photos of contested ballots I could get were from afar, and even then, the election judges were covering up the parts of the ballot that had the Senate votes so as to foil me.

Your eyes do not deceive you, that is the ballot warehouse for Minneapolis, a monster of a building containing 10 teams of two election judges, one Franken representative, and one Coleman representative each. Not to mention the bulk of the warehouse being dedicated to housing a city’s worth of ballots, ballot transportation units, and ballot counting machines. On top of that, there are election officials, lawyers, observers, and media wandering around in the taped off zones in the center. Busy.

The recount was a fairly smooth endeavor, with election judges gliding through ballots that had been sorted by the machines, and verifying that they were indeed Franken or Coleman votes. Representatives from each campaign were watching intently – if a ballot looked questionable to them, they put it aside, and when the precinct was done, it would be brought over to the challenge table, where volunteers, lawyers, and election judges would duke it out.

The challenge table was made off limits to me and the only other media there today, KARE11 News. This table was usually crowded with volunteers who didn’t belong there, but were just interested to see how the challenges were going down. This was a quiet point where there were only the appropriate people there.

A challenged ballot. As I mentioned, judges were covering up the votes for Senate on contested ballots, but it’s easy to see how this voter may have screwed up. Come on, people, learn to read the instructions. To be fair, though, only 0.06% of all ballots are like this, so there isn’t an alarming number of stupid people in our state. Just enough to throw an election.

This is a bogus ballot being challenged by Franken. If you can see here, the mark for Coleman has been smudged. I’m not sure what the Franken representative might be thinking this could be – perhaps they were trying to smear the ink into Franken’s bubble? Probably not. This is an example of a ballot that will get denied its challenge by the Elections Director, who will be, as you will hear on KARE11 tonight, stopping all frivilous challenges from going up to the State Canvassing Board.

For more photos from the recount, feel free to visit my Flickr album.

Keeping Up on the Senate Recount

Are you into the election equivalent of watching paint dry? The Senate recount is finally upon us and while everyone will be covering it, your best bet for the quickest non-stop coverage will be the local independent media that are all over it.

The UpTake will have live video and live-blogging of the recounting process on their front page, and you can follow along on Twitter by watching the hashtag “#mnrecount” or individual accounts: @theuptake, @chuckumentary. Of course, you can always show up in person to watch the recount, which is open to the media and the public. (If you really like The UpTake, you can hang out at their Fall Fundraiser on Friday! Disclosure: I ran around with them during the RNC.)

Jesse’s In

Jesse Ventura can pretty much go first name only these days. At least in Minnesota.

So he’s officially entering the Senate race, pitting himself against Norm Coleman and Al Franken.

I’m officially ambivalent. On the one hand, I’m all for more options to choose from. On the other hand, what a fucking spectacle (and I suspect Norm Coleman will be the benefactor of it all).

We officially have the most ridiculous senate race ever.

(via @solace)

UPDATE: Okay, maybe not. I wouldn’t put it past him, though. Next Tuesday is the filing deadline. Man, everyone ran quick with that one. Interestingly, now the story is the coverage (i.e., ABC News’ initial interpretation of Jesse’s comments).

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