MN Recount Report - Rejected Absentee Ballot Sorting: Renville, December 18th, 2:18pm

The observers traveled to Renville County on December 16, 2008 to observe the sorting of the rejected absentee ballots for the U.S. Senate race. Everyone present was able to get close enough to view the ballots. Six out of 27 ballots will be sent to the Canvassing Board for acceptance consideration. Here are the observers' significant observations:

-The meeting was supposed to start at 10:00 AM, and started at 10:05 AM
-The Auditor/Treasurer, 2 election judges, 2 representatives from the Coleman campaign, and one representative from the Franken campaign were in attendance (see attached attendance sheet for more details)
-The Auditor/Treasurer for the county provided a brief summary of the process at the beginning
-We were told that the ballot containers were kept in the Auditor/Treasurer's office where there are always at least 3 employees
-The Auditor/Treasurer carried the relevant containers into the room from the Auditor/Treasurer's office
-We were told that the envelopes containing the ballots for each precinct were resealed after the recount, but we did not see those envelopes
-The envelopes containing the ballots for each precinct were stored in separate plastic containers for each precinct, but those containers had removable tops that were not sealed
-During the sorting process, the two election judges placed the rejected absentee ballots into five piles: (a) voter signature not genuine, (b) voter name and address different on the application and return envelope, (c) voter had already voted (either in person or by absentee ballot), (d) voter not registered or missing voter registration application, or (e) ballot received after election day
-The Auditor/Treasurer confirmed that county employees contacted voters or sent a new ballot to voters if the county employees noticed any error with respect to an absentee ballot in advance of election day
-At the conclusion of the sorting process, the Auditor/Treasurer had the two election judges sign across the seal of the envelopes for categories (a)-(d). The Auditor/Treasurer kept the ballots from category (e) in another envelope that was not signed by the two election judges.
-The process ended at 11:00 AM