Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Funny Business in Minnesota

Ann Coulter had the stolen election in Minnesota correctly pegged back in December. Now the Wall St. Journal brings to light the extent of the corruption by Democrat politicians and officials going on in this state – apparently successfully throwing the election to Franken.


by Ann Coulter
December 17, 2008 (Excerpt)

"It's bad enough that the Republican Party can't prevent Democrats from voting in its primaries and saddling us with The New York Times' favorite Republican as our presidential nominee. If the Republican Party can't protect an election won by the incumbent U.S. senator in Minnesota, there is no point in donating to the Republican Party.

The day after the November election, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman had won his re-election to the U.S. Senate, beating challenger Al Franken by 725 votes.

Then one heavily Democratic town miraculously discovered 100 missing ballots. And, in another marvel, they were all for Al Franken! It was like a completely evil version of a Christmas miracle.

As strange as it was that all 100 post-election, "discovered" ballots would be for one candidate, it was even stranger that the official time stamp for the miracle ballots printed out by the voting machine on the miracle ballots showed that the votes had been cast on Nov. 2 -- two days before the election.

Democratic election officials in the miracle-ballot county simply announced that their voting machine must have been broken. Don't worry about it -- they were sure those 100 votes for Franken were legit.

Then another 400-odd statistically improbable "corrections" were made in other Democratic strongholds until -- by the end of election week -- Coleman's lead had been whittled down to a mere 215 votes.”"

In my opinion, the real question in this election is how anyone could vote for this obvious lunatic, Al Frankin.
Funny Business in Minnesota

JANUARY 5, 2009, Wall Street Journal

In which every dubious ruling seems to help Al Franken.

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.

This disenfranchises Minnesotans whose vote counted only once. And one Canvassing Board member, State Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson, has acknowledged that "very likely there was a double counting." Yet the board insists that it lacks the authority to question local officials and it is merely adding the inflated numbers to the totals

In other cases, the board has been flagrantly inconsistent. Last month, Mr. Franken's campaign charged that one Hennepin County (Minneapolis) precinct had "lost" 133 votes, since the hand recount showed fewer ballots than machine votes recorded on Election Night. Though there is no proof to this missing vote charge -- officials may have accidentally run the ballots through the machine twice on Election Night -- the Canvassing Board chose to go with the Election Night total, rather than the actual number of ballots in the recount. That decision gave Mr. Franken a gain of 46 votes.

Meanwhile, a Ramsey County precinct ended up with 177 more ballots than there were recorded votes on Election Night. In that case, the board decided to go with the extra ballots, rather than the Election Night total, even though the county is now showing more ballots than voters in the precinct. This gave Mr. Franken a net gain of 37 votes, which means he's benefited both ways from the board's inconsistency.

And then there are the absentee ballots. The Franken campaign initially howled that some absentee votes had been erroneously rejected by local officials. Counties were supposed to review their absentees and create a list of those they believed were mistakenly rejected. Many Franken-leaning counties did so, submitting 1,350 ballots to include in the results. But many Coleman-leaning counties have yet to complete a re-examination. Despite this lack of uniformity, and though the state Supreme Court has yet to rule on a Coleman request to standardize this absentee review, Mr. Ritchie's office nonetheless plowed through the incomplete pile of 1,350 absentees this weekend, padding Mr. Franken's edge by a further 176 votes.

Both campaigns have also suggested that Mr. Ritchie's office made mistakes in tabulating votes that had been challenged by either of the campaigns. And the Canvassing Board appears to have applied inconsistent standards in how it decided some of these challenged votes -- in ways that, again on net, have favored Mr. Franken.

The question is how the board can certify a fair and accurate election result given these multiple recount problems. Yet that is precisely what the five members seem prepared to do when they meet today. Some members seem to have concluded that because one of the candidates will challenge the result in any event, why not get on with it and leave it to the courts? Mr. Coleman will certainly have grounds to contest the result in court, but he'll be at a disadvantage given that courts are understandably reluctant to overrule a certified outcome.

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. 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.

Minnesotans like to think that their state isn't like New Jersey or Louisiana, and typically it isn't. 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.


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At 6:15 AM, Blogger John Emerson said...

Coulter and the WSJ are making things up. None of the Minnesota Republicans are claiming fraud, not even Powerline. Even Coleman isn't claiming fraud -- just errors and misjudgements in the process.

It was a very close election and the recount was done transparently and according to law. The recount was mandatory and for that reason, Coleman never won, even though he was ahead at various times. (Even Franken won't win until the court case is settled). The total net shift in votes from the first unofficial election-night count until now was 0.03% at most -- a tiny shift. Some changes went Coleman's way, some went Franken's way, but on the net they went Franken's way.

Minnesota is rightly proud of its reputation for honest elections, and Ann Coulter's misrepresentations aren't going to change that.

For the record, Minnesota is only a reliable Democratic state in Presidential elections. We haven't had a Democratic governor in 18 years, and during the last 30 years we've had more Republican than Democratic Senators. The DFL machine is a myth.

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

I'm with Ann Coulter on this one. It's really hard for me to believe that a Left wing loon like Al Franken could even come close to beating Norm Coleman in this election. If I'm wrong, and this turns out to be the case, then this country is really going to Hell in a hand basket. Norm Coleman has proved himself to be a better Senator than Paul Wellstone. If a known has-been like Walter Mondale couldn't beat Coleman for that seat years ago which was vacated when Wellstone's greed and poor judgment caused his own demise as well as his wife and daughter in an airplane crash, I find it very hard to believe that a failed radio host, Al Franken could beat him.

At 9:49 AM, Blogger John Emerson said...

Nobody has to like or respect Franken. The fact is that 41% of Minnesotans voted for him -- about the same as Coleman. We're only arguing about 0.01% of the vote at this point.

If you accuse someone of a crime, you have to have evidence. In this case, you're also accusing a lot of Republicans, since they were involved at every stage of the process.

Like it or not, there are a fair number of liberals in Minnesota.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You want the US Supreme Court to appoint Coleman senator as they appointed Bush president in 2000. Fat chance. Unlike Florida Minnesota conducts fair elections.

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

The US Supreme Court ruled in Bush' favor because he won that election fair and square. I had just retired from my job in 2000 and my eyes and ears were glued to my TV set back then the whole time. There was no question about it, the Democrats were trying to steal the election back then, and they are trying to do it again in the State of Minesota. They're counting the same votes twice and they even counted one vote that was hand written with the name Al Frankenstein. In some cases, there were more votes for Franken in some counties than there were voters. So, you tell me that something isn't going on in that state? Bull s#@%!


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