CEIMN Director, Mark Halvorson, and CEIMN Project Coordinator, Sarah Martyn Crowell, observed and videotaped today's search at the Minneapolis Election's Warehouse for the 133 missing ballots from Minneapolis Ward 3 Precinct 1. Election officials present included Cindy Reichert (Elections Manager for Minneapolis), Ginny Gelms (Election Technican), and Jim Gelbmann, Deputy Secretary of State. Representatives from both the Coleman and Franken campaigns were also present.
After a nearly five hour search, the 133 ballots were not found today. Election officials conducted a thorough and transparent search of all the logicial places that the ballots could have been located in the warehouse. Ginny Gelms inspected all of the ballot envelopes from each precinct. It was clear that none of these envelopes had been mislabeled or misplaced.
While conducting the search, Sarah observed when Ginny found a large plastic bag (with a zip-lock type seal) marked "UOCAVA" ballots (Uniform Overseas Civilian Absentee Voting Act) from "Ward 8 Precinct 7". The envelop contained voted ballots that had been misplaced and had not been counted on either election day or during the recount. Ginny alerted Cindy Reichert of the situation. Cindy made a note in the incident log and will send the ballots. The number of ballots in the envelopes is unknown, but appears to be less than 20.