The Coleman legal team is continuing to review the rejected absentee ballots one by one, spending this afternoon questioning Pine County Auditor Cathy Clemmer. One particular ballot came from a man whose ballot was tossed because he was not a resident of the county.
Well, he was a resident of the county — in the county jail, awaiting trial for an unspecified charge. He requested a ballot from jail, and Clemmer admitted that the application should have been forwarded to his adjacent home county. Instead, the bailiff delivered him a ballot for Pine, which was later rejected because of his home address.
“By the time it was returned, was Mr. Grewe still in–” said Coleman lawyer Joe Friedberg, “still in custodia legis?”
The answer: Yes, the voter was still in the joint.
Now it may well be that this individual was legally allowed to vote, if he wasn’t a convicted felon at that time. But just imagine the media outcry that would have occurred if a Democrat were waging an election lawsuit and tried to get this one counted.Another interesting example: The Coleman campaign was pleading for a separate ballot that was originally rejected for a mismatched signature, as compared to the absentee ballot application.
During cross-examination, Franken lawyer Kevin Hamilton figured this out: The local officials changed their minds about the signatures back in December, and felt it should be counted. But it was re-rejected by the Coleman campaign, under the controversial decision by the state Supreme Court that gave the campaigns a veto over improperly-rejected absentees.
“They [the Coleman campaign] rejected it because they felt the judges were properly rejecting it for signature purposes,” said Clemmer.
“Well, I guess they’re changing their minds now,” Hamilton replied.
One thing that should be noted: The aggrieved voters that Coleman has been calling as witnesses, when pressed on the fact that they were contacted and screened by the Republican Party, said they first received the phone calls about three weeks ago — after those ballots were sorted and vetoed.
This particular individual was not actually in court today. But it’s worth thinking about the fact that the Coleman camp didn’t want to count this ballot, then changed their minds, and seemed to have forgotten their prior actions.