Monday, January 05, 2009

Minnesota “recount” looks like a fraud

An editorial in today’s WSJ begins - - -

Strange things keep happening in Minnesota, where the disputed recount in the Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken may be nearing a dubious outcome.

Thanks to the machinations of Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and a meek state Canvassing Board, Mr. Franken may emerge as an illegitimate victor.

Mr. Franken started the recount 215 votes behind Senator Coleman, but he now claims a 225-vote lead and suddenly the man who was insisting on "counting every vote" wants to shut the process down.

He's getting help from Mr. Ritchie and his four fellow Canvassing Board members, who have delivered inconsistent rulings and are ignoring glaring problems with the tallies.

Under Minnesota law, election officials are required to make a duplicate ballot if the original is damaged during Election Night counting. Officials are supposed to mark these as "duplicate" and segregate the original ballots.

But it appears some officials may have failed to mark ballots as duplicates, which are now being counted in addition to the originals. This helps explain why more than 25 precincts now have more ballots than voters who signed in to vote. By some estimates this double counting has yielded Mr. Franken an additional 80 to 100 votes. (emphasis added)

There’s more to the editorial before the WSJ concludes - - -

Meanwhile, Minnesota's other Senator, Amy Klobuchar, is already saying her fellow Democrats should seat Mr. Franken when the 111th Congress begins this week if the Canvassing Board certifies him as the winner.

This contradicts Minnesota law, which says the state cannot award a certificate of election if one party contests the results. (emphasis added)

Ms. Klobuchar is trying to create the public perception of a fait accompli, all the better to make Mr. Coleman look like a sore loser and build pressure on him to drop his legal challenge despite the funny recount business. …

But we can't recall a similar recount involving optical scanning machines that has changed so many votes, and in which nearly every crucial decision worked to the advantage of the same candidate.

The Coleman campaign clearly misjudged the politics here, and the apparent willingness of a partisan like Mr. Ritchie to help his preferred candidate, Mr. Franken.

If the Canvassing Board certifies Mr. Franken as the winner based on the current count, it will be anointing a tainted and undeserving Senator.

The entire editorial’s here.



JinC Regulars know that since Election Day I’ve been warning about Minnesota Democratic Secretary of State Richie’s fierce partisanship. He’s been elected with the help of ACORN and George Soros. (See here and here)

It looks like they’re about to get a return on their investment.

I don’t know whether Coleman and his people underestimated the shameless “any means, to hell with the rules” approach Ritchie, Franken and their people would take to what no longer deserves to be called a “recount.”

But it seemed to me that right from the morning after Election Day Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty was either a babe in the woods or willfully blind to what it turned out happened during the “recount.”

For a while there Pawlenty couldn’t seem to say enough nice things about Ritchie, including how “nonpartisan” he was.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...


The two biggest problems with the Minnesota recount is the lack of a verifiable chain of custody and lack of consistency.

You simply cannot have canvassing boards in precincts heavily favoring one candidate all of a sudden finding hundreds of ballots that were "mistakenly" rejected. Its laughable. There are rules for a recount. The canvassing board changed from a recount board to a voter intent board.

The idea of counting votes without ballots is also a novel idea.

I think most people believe a recount should correct mathematical errors and machine malfunctions. This exercise goes light years beyond that.