Tony Trimble offers up a statement on the State Canvassing Board’s declaration of a Franken victory, which had been widely expected. Note that this headline states that Franken was “certified,” which is misleading, because he cannot receive a certificate of election until all of the legal maneuvering ends.
Here are some excerpts from Trimble’s statement:
The actions today by the Canvassing Board are but the first step in what, unfortunately, will now have to be a longer process….While we appreciate the effort of this board to do the work, the reality is that any certification of vote totals at this point is only preliminary. As this Canvassing Board has recognized, there still exist serious problems with inconsistencies in the administrative recount, and therefore in the validity and reliability of the numbers certified today. There can be no count that is accurate or valid when 654 potentially valid absentee votes remain disenfranchised and when some votes are counted twice – leading to a violation of one of the most sacred principles of our constitution – “One person, One vote.”
And, there can be no justification to report out a total when 133 votes were included in a count where there are not ballots to support them. Or when a batch of votes were not counted on Election Night, but were miraculously “found” during the recount and included.
If the Canvassing Board had resolved all these issues, then the process might be completed. But the Board has deferred the resolution of those issues for the contest phase provided for in Minnesota law. Since the process is far from complete, there can be no confidence in the current results of the United States Senate Recount, and we will file a contest within the next 24 hours to promptly correct those problems and inaccuracies. The Supreme Court ruling today also emphasizes that that’s what we must do to provide an accurate count for this election…The fact is the Canvassing Board’s current totals are invalid and unreliable because:
· Original and Duplicate ballots have been double counted – even members of the Canvassing Board acknowledge this is a serious issue, yet nothing was resolved – instead, double counted votes were simply added to their recount totals.
· Newly Discovered ballots, which appeared for the first time during the recount and are included in the Canvassing Board totals without proper reconciliation to the number of voters signed into the precincts on Election Day.
· Missing Ballots supposedly tallied on election night that could not be found during the recount process are included in the Canvassing Board count contrary to Minnesota precedent.
· And again, an inconsistent treatment of challenged ballots – an inconsistent treatment of wrongfully rejected absentee ballots – and an inconsistent treatment of the campaign by the very office charged with coordinating this recount simply results in a process that is broken…