People are convening in office buildings, warehouses, courthouses and convention centers across Minnesota to scrutinize hundreds of thousands of ballots in the U.S. Senate race recount. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has laid out elaborate do’s and don’ts for those conducting the recount. One of those guidelines is that the recount can’t be a secret meeting in a smoke-filled, or even a Minnesota-style smoke-free, room: “Recount locations are open to the public and the media and there will be a public viewing area in each recount location.”
With all the scrutiny of the process, there will likely be confrontations and technical troubles and other surprises to interrupt the tedium. That’s where you and Whistleblower come in. If you see or hear about something that went wrong at a recount site, please send an email or call me at (612) 673-4271. I’ll be blogging about it all day right here.
I’m not expecting the same generous flood of suggestions that followed my solicitations for reports of troubles at the polls on Election Day. Nevertheless, I will try to follow up on whatever troubles I do hear about.According to the list of recount locations (you’ll need Microsoft Excel to read it), the recounts or recount preparations will begin Wednesday at 50 sites, including 13 of Hennepin’s 19 recount sites, Ramsey County, Anoka, Carver, Dakota and Washington counties in the metro.
The audience at each recount will be observing an elaborately staged performance with a rigid script. The cast includes Deputy Recount Officials, Table Officials, Lead Representatives and their mobile emissaries, Roving Representatives. The action will be the sorting of papers into piles, verbal challenges, bent necks and squinting, announcing of totals, affixing of stickers and finally, the sealing of envelopes. The show will go on until it’s done.
And a few other ground rules:
Hands off! “Candidate representatives are not allowed to touch or otherwise handle a ballot.”
Eat a good breakfast. “No lunch break shall be taken during the middle of the sorting and counting process for a single precinct.”