While questioning Ramsey County (St. Paul) elections director Joe Mansky, Franken lawyer Kevin Hamilton just got a confirmation that a friendly Coleman witnesses who said his ballot was improperly rejected was in fact tossed out properly — and he also appears to have broken a serious law.
Hamilton reviewed the matter of Douglas Thompson, the Coleman witness whose girlfriend forged his signature on his absentee ballot application. Thompson later signed his own absentee ballot itself, and the ballot was rejected because of the mismatched signatures.
Hamilton asked Mansky if his office would in any way be able to verify the provenance of a ballot if someone else, “just to maybe pick an example, his girlfriend,” had signed the application. Mansky confirmed that it would not only be impossible to verify such a ballot, but also that someone having his girlfriend falsely sign his application is a felony, outside of a set of specific exemptions for people who are unable to sign for themselves.
“If just anybody could request a ballot in someone else’s name, that would be a problem ,wouldn’t it?” Hamilton later asked, specifically referring back to Douglas Thompson.
“It would be a big problem,” said Mansky, appearing to smile at the absurdity of this whole situation. Mansky then confirmed that Thompson’s ballot was properly rejected.Hamilton also went over the case of Peter DeMuth, the college student who used a mouse to electronically “sign” a crude set of initials onto a JPG file of the ballot application. His actual ballot was later rejected because his full signature didn’t match the initials.
Mansky said that DeMuth’s ballot was properly rejected. When Hamilton asked what DeMuth could have done if he’d called the county and said he couldn’t afford to print out the one-page document — DeMuth said in court that he didn’t want to pay the money — Mansky said there were any number of available options, such as getting a form from a county right near the North Dakota state line, or even writing out an application on a blank paper.
“He could have written this out on a piece of notebook paper,” said Mansky.
To which Hamilton replied: “And then of course he would have had to use a pen.”