Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL -- The number of disputed ballots dramatically rose in the second day of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race recount, making them the key to who eventually wins. By Thursday night, 734 ballots had been challenged, a figure that dwarfs the 215-vote margin Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman led Democratic challenger Al Franken before the recount began Wednesday. A state board will look at each challenged ballot to see who, if anyone, gets that vote. The two campaigns challenged more than twice as many ballots Thursday as they did on the recount's first day.
ST. PAUL -- A man who knows the subject liked what he saw Wednesday as Minnesotans began recounting 2.9 million U.S. Senate election ballots. "They're going as smoothly as you could anticipate when you're first starting a process that is new to everybody involved," Wesley Kliner, who was part of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida, said while watching the process in Otter Tail County. The comment from the Tennessee attorney, working for Norm Coleman's campaign, was echoed throughout Minnesota as the historic recount began.
ST. PAUL - A historic recount was under way across Minnesota today, possibly with control of the U.S. Senate being decided. While the recount was just getting started, a judge ordered Ramsey County to turn over a list of voters whose absentee ballots were rejected.
Here are highlights of the upcoming Minnesota's U.S. Senate race recount: -- Every one of the 2.9 million ballots cast in the U.S. Senate race will be examined individually by local or state elections officials at 107 sites statewide. -- Under state law, the officials' job is to determine the candidate each voter intended to select.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota politicians want guarantees that any federal money spent to bail out a troubled automobile industry be used wisely. For U.S. Sen. Norm Colman, R-Minn., the key is that whatever money is given to the industry, automakers must be accountable. "I have a strong concern that any support we give the auto industry must have strong, fiscal controls and accountability," Coleman said. "The taxpayers of my state will insist on it, and I will demand it." Coleman and Minnesota Gov.
ST. PAUL - A state elections board today approved the beginning of a statewide U.S. Senate recount, but delayed the most controversial item on the table - whether hundreds of disputed absentee ballots would be counted. "We need more time to think," said Mark Ritchie, Canvassing Board chairman and secretary of state. The board recessed for an undecided period of time to consider whether it can even deal with the absentee issue.
ST. PAUL -- Al Franken's campaign needs a new story to establish the need for a lawsuit it filed Thursday. The Minnesota U.S. Senate campaign filed suit in Ramsey County District Court demanding a list of all voters whose absentee ballots were rejected in last week's election. If Franken wins that ruling, his campaign officials said, other counties should follow. The action is an effort to find votes in Franken's challenge to sitting U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Two Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican Gov Tim Pawlenty, two District Court judges and the Democratic secretary of state comprise a board that could decide who becomes Minnesota's next U.S. senator. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced on Wednesday who will be on the state Canvassing Board, which will decide who many Minnesota voters intended to support for the Senate. Republican U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Lower taxes for businesses that add jobs in renewable energy industries is a key part of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2009 economic plan. As he was beginning a statewide tour announcing his $86 million "Green Jobs Investment Initiative," Pawlenty told reporters in a Capitol news conference Monday that he does not know how many jobs his plan would create. However, he said it would be a significant number and state officials predicted more than 114,000 Minnesotans will hold such jobs in the next 30 years.
ST. PAUL -- Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken agree ballots need to be preserved for a statewide recount in their U.S. Senate race, but their campaigns struggled to work out details. As their race narrowed to a 206-vote margin late Monday afternoon, out of nearly 2.9 million votes cast, the campaigns discussed how to keep ballots secure. That is important because every one of those ballots will be examined by elections officials during a statewide recount beginning next week. The thin margin mandates a recount, which likely will last past mid-December.