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Ritchie concerned about growing pile of challenged ballots

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Secretary of State Mark Ritchie
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie ponders a question and his task ahead during a news conference at the State Office Building Wednesday afternoon.
MPR Photo/Bill Alkofer

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said with nearly 81 percent of the vote hand recounted, he's growing concerned about the increasing percentage of ballots the campaigns are challenging, especially because both acknowledge frivolous challenges.

Both campaigns have talked about revisiting their  challenged piles before turning them over for a ruling from the State Canvassing Board.

The more challenges there are the more work that the local officials has to do.

Ritchie said each campaign could save a lot of time by cracking down on unwarranted objections. 

"The more challenges there are the more work that the local officials has to do, our office has to do and the candidate representatives have to do to withdraw or back away from those challenges so this is a cause for concern," Ritchie said.

At 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, the Minnesota Canvassing Board will take up the Franken campaign's request that a review of rejected absentee ballots be included in the recount.  Ritchie said there will also be discussion about how to handle the growing pile of challenged ballots.