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County election officials wading into document requests

Posted by: Eric Roper under Minnesota campaigns Updated: November 11, 2010 - 4:19 PM

County election officials across the state are gearing up to respond to weighty document requests from Tom Emmer's campaign and the Republican Party.

A Minneapolis law firm, Trimble & Associates, has been spraying out Data Practices Act requests on behalf of the two entities, seeking a litany of election documents that may prove critical during the upcoming recount – and any court challenges.

What are they asking for? It appears to differ by county, but some requests target absentee ballot applications, absentee ballot envelopes, lists of absentee voters and the status of their ballots, voter lists, results tapes, Election Day incident logs, lists of voters who registered on Election Day, etc.

Officials must copy the forms and remove private data such as Social Security numbers, which adds some heft to the process.

“If you can imagine, we have 90 precincts in Washington County, so it’s a list for each of those precincts,” said Washington County Elections Supervisor Carol Peterson. “And some of those have over 3,000 registered voters. So it’s making copies of those lists for them. And when we do it for one party we have to do it for the other.”

This is on top of normal post-election work at the county level, which includes documenting voter history and voters who registered on Election Day.

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