Take a moment and look at these two ballots.
Let’s compare. Does everyone have their copy of 204C.22 ready?
Our first stop will be Subdivision 1: Ballot valid if intent determinable.
In both cases, the only marks in the ovals are next to a bona fide candidate. I will vouch for the voter’s intent with the “X” mark, he/she used it consistently across the full ballot (see Subdivision 10, Different marks).
(We’re going to operate under the assumption that it doesn’t matter what was in the write-in field, despite what David Icke might say.)
The problem facing the state’s Canvassing Board might be reconciling Subdivision 4:
Name written in proper place.
If a voter has written the name of an individual in the proper place on a general or special election ballot a vote shall be counted for that individual whether or not the voter makes a mark (X) in the square opposite the blank.
I’ve polled a few people around the office and consensus seems to be that this is an overvote, meaning the ballot should be discarded.
Aside: I suppose the Franken camp could mount a challenge by saying that “Lizard People” is not the name of an individual, though I doubt “voter intends to be funny” is one of the criteria the Canvassing Board will assess. Comedy Central’s Indecision 2008 crew, by the way, wonders alike.
Several questions arise: Should the county have accepted the Franken vote? Does the voter consider Al Franken equivalent to the Lizard People? Is Lizard People a collective, or just one person like Cat Power? (Hat tip to the Minnesota Independent, which points out who put Lizard People on the map.)
What this also means — assuming the above holds true &mdash is that a lot of the people who played election judge have an unfounded preference for the Franken ballot, legally speaking.
So, there you have it. A pretty straightforward look at some challenged ballots through the prism of the law. Not so hard, was it?