Friendly Coleman Witness: They Cherry-Picked Me

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Here’s another funny moment earlier today from the slow-motion comedy show that is the Minnesota Senate trial.

The Coleman team is continuing to call as witnesses some aggrieved voters to complain that their ballots were wrongly rejected. This didn’t go too well last time, and the newest pair had their fun moments. One of them was college student Peter DeMuth, who sent away for an absentee ballot because he goes to school in Fargo, North Dakota — he even drove several hours to St. Paul this morning, just so he could get his vote counted.

Upon cross-examination by Franken attorney Kevin Hamilton, DeMuth said he was contacted by the Republican Party and told about the problem. “They asked me if I knew my absentee ballot had been rejected. I said no,” said DeMuth. “They asked me if I was a supporter of Norm Coleman, and I said yes, and they proceeded to ask me if I would like to go further.”

Let’s think about this for a moment: Over the last several days, the Coleman camp has said repeatedly that they are not cherry-picking who they’re helping out, that they don’t know who the people they’re advocating for actually supported, and for all they know they’re helping out Franken-voters.

So much for that argument. On top of that, DeMuth’s story is by itself fascinating.DeMuth’s ballot was rejected because the signature on his application didn’t match the one on his ballot, and he said nobody ever called him to inform him of the problem. Upon his initial direct examination by Coleman lawyer James Langdon, DeMuth explained how it happened: Instead of signing the application with a pen, he downloaded a PDF copy and converted it into a JPG, then typed in the relevant text and “signed” his initials by using the mouse.

“It’s hard to get the signature I normally use, so I just used my initials,” DeMuth explained.

He then e-mailed the application in and got a ballot days later, which he filled in and signed his full name to in the old-fashioned way. Upon cross-examination, Franken lawyer Kevin Hamilton asked: “Do you have a pen in your dorm-room at Fargo?”

Apparently DeMuth didn’t want to pay to print out a copy of the application on campus, and he thought this would be easier.

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