In their ongoing coverage at FiveThirtyEight of the recount in the US Senate race in Minnesota, one off-hand remark caught my attention:
Theoretically, a campaign could also argue that a vote has been counted for the wrong candidate (e.g. Coleman argues that a Franken vote should be a Coleman vote, rather than a no-vote), but I’d guess that these cases are exceptionally rare. One exception may be votes for third-party candidates (e.g. a Barkley vote that Coleman wants counted as a Coleman vote), where a campaign might have a slightly easier time closing the sale since the third-party won’t have representation in the room; […]
Emphasis mine. In a comment, I asked*:
Why are there no representatives of Barkley present? Yes, I know he has no chance of emerging the winner. But I would assume that, as a candidate in a disputed election, he would have a legal right to have agents present as ballots are reviewed. (For instance, to prevent one of the campaigns from tipping the race by converting marginal Barkley ballot marks into votes for their own candidate.)
So, is his absence a matter of law, or just practicality (such as financial constraints, or inability to recruit observers)?
Several subsequent comments address mine, with one stating that there is indeed no legal right to third-party representation in a recount (and seemingly surprised that the question would even arise).
I wonder if anyone reading F&V can confirm that. I suppose I should not be surprised or appalled if this is the case, but I suppose I am, nonetheless.
* Edited to fix some rather bad syntax in the original.