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View Diary: MN-Sen: Good morning for Franken (201 comments)

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  •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
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    gpclay, FischFry

    I see that you have a good point.
    But I still think they were correct to uniformly apply their write-in rule.

    •  Voter intent was clearer in this case (2+ / 0-)
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      gpclay, SteveP

      I can understand the desire to appear consistent and, thus, fair. However, I think they've made a mistake in a too rigid construction of the law. A court hearing a contest on this ballot might well come out differently. One could make a similar argument on the 2 other ballots, but the intent here was much clearer.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 11:57:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they have no power to adjudicate (1+ / 0-)
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        gpclay

        their statutory power is ministerial. I don't think they have the authority to dismiss Lizard People as a non-candidate, nor to make assumptions about what the voter might or might not have had in mind as regards a first amendment exercise.

        I agree that it would probably go to Franken in Court, but I think it's the right call for the canvassing Board.

        "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by SteveP on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 12:02:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not exactly. They do adjudicate (1+ / 0-)
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          SteveP

          They're supposed to rule on challenges. They're supposed to make judgments about voter intent. The statute restricts them to the face of the ballot, so they can't take extrinsic evidence. But, that doesn't mean they're performing ministerial duties, or that they have no power to say that the write-in there is not intended as a vote.

          I agree that they can't make a judgment calling these things jokes. But, here, there is evidence on the ballot, that the voter wanted his vote for Franken to count. I think his intent is discernible, and it's the Bd.'s job to do discern it, if possible.

          When they look to a statute to set out a rule for their decision, they are not performing a ministerial function. They are doing what judges do. I think they didn't do it too well...in this one case. They wanted to be consistent, and they were wowed by the comedic nature of the ballot. This kept them from really considering it, from understanding why this ballot called for a different result. Not because they didn't have the power to rule differently.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 12:56:43 PM PST

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          •  I see your point (1+ / 0-)
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            FischFry

            But I think nonetheless that they don't have statutory discretionary latitude to interpret unless you think that it is sufficiently obvious to be facial or intrinsic instead of extrinsic.

            However, I certainly see objecting to them using consistency as an administrative crutch rather than an actual legal guide.

            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

            by SteveP on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 01:13:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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