Franken campaign: 133 votes lost from Dinkytown

There are 133 ballots that could be missing from a polling place that includes much of Dinkytown, the Al Franken campaign said today. The total number of votes cast, 1,896, is less than the number of people recorded to have voted, which is 2,029, Franken campaign spokesman Andy Barr said. The recount was scheduled to end Friday, but with this development the Franken camp is “demanding that [election officials] neither declare the recount closed or report numbers from this precinct as official until these ballots are found,” Barr said. Minneapolis Elections Director Cindy Reichert hinted in an e-mailed statement that the discrepancy âÄî “133 more ballots reported cast in that precinct on Election Day than were present during the recount process” âÄî might have been caused by human error. “The whole purpose of a recount is to detect any human errors that may have occurred on election night,” the statement read. “Minneapolis elections officials are doing everything they can to determine the cause of the discrepancy, and ensure that every vote cast on Election Day is included in the recount process.” Franken campaign representatives on site at the recount station that was tallying ballots from that precinct alerted the campaign to the disparity. Source: The City of Minneapolis Ward 3, precinct 1 is between University Avenue SE and runs up to just north of 8th Street SE on 15th Avenue SE and extends to Interstate 35W. The campaign sent a letter to the Secretary of State and local elections officials, demanding an “extensive physical search” to find the missing ballots, Barr said. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie did not respond to a request for comment. The city of Minneapolis has been in contact with Ritchie’s office, “which is aware of this situation,” according to Reichert’s statement. Republican incumbent Norm Coleman’s campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment.