Referendum Ballot Errors Caught in Plymouth, Complaint Filed

The MN Sun-Post reports that a Plymouth resident has filed a complaint that they were not given the ballot for their district’s referendum. The ballot errors were reported in Plymouth precincts. FreedomDogs blog asks: “Incompetence? Malfeasance? Corruption?”

Buried on Page 23A of today’s Crystal/Robbinsdale Sun-Gross is a story not just hinting but telling us our recent local referendum may have been fraudulent, rigged or illegal. (Question:  Had the referendum been lost, which page of this paper do you think a hint of wrongdoing would appear).

I quote the source:

“With several school districts represented in those precincts, there were different ballots for each district.  In all, reflecting Plymouth city, Hennepin County and state races as well as two school district referendums (Osseo and Robbinsdale), there were 35 different ballot styles in Plymouth, according to Plymouth City Clerk Sandy Engdahl.”

Is there a lawyer in the house?  I mean it.  I’m not suggesting that the vote would have turned out different, but according to the story, the screw-ups were across the breadth of the northwest metro.

How the story broke:  Some voters objected on election day that their local referendum was not on their ballot.  That was the start of this sequence of ‘anomalies.’  The situation, we are told, was corrected for the complaining voters.  But, how many voters didn’t catch these screw ups and just voted, cruised on through and went home thinking maybe they were wrong about a referendum on this year’s ballot? The tone of the Post story seems to suggest the mis-allocated ballots were isolated and insignificant.  The paper quoted the Plymouth City Clerk, but didn’t go across the northwest metro to get quotes from other local election officials in the other communities.  (Hard to believe this stellar news-gathering organization could be so shallow, isn’t it?)

We DO know there were wrongful referendum ballots at various polling places across the whole northwest metro – including specific eyewitness reports of missing referendum questions in Osseo School District and in Robbinsdale District 281 – but we have no meaningful information telling us the scope of the “oversight.” The only other quote we have in this story is from Jeff Dehler, communications director for District 281 (we know he has no horse in the race), who said “the problem seems isolated.”

Excuse me?  Ballots without a referendum question?  Or the wrong referendum question?  How do we know some, part, or all of it was isolated, Mr. Communications-director-with-a-triple-digit-salary on the line?  Al Franken would have a galaxy of attorneys poking and probing each chad and dimple, performing legal gymnastics trying to divine ‘voter intent’ for those of us too stupid to understand how ballots work.

The Sun-Gross article went on to quote their only “expert,” the aforementioned Sandy Engdahl, the Plymouth City Clerk as saying “The election judges did a good job – they did the best they could.”

Best they could?  Is this a new election standard – and when was it adopted? (If it is, I don’t have to ask which party adopted it).  Someone needs to dig deeper.  Since we know our local rag won’t, I’m hoping our Dogs of Diligence will put their ear to the ground and use this blog to A) ratchet up any information floating in the halls of academia and, B) report any anecdotal evidences they have concerning the real, full story of what happened.

There’s a stench in the air.  I don’t care if it was an “oversight.”  Somebody or some bodies screwed up.  If it was an accident, I want to know the scope.  If it was intentional, I want to know who’s going to be charged.


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