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Thread: Franken leads re-count

  1. #1
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Default Franken leads re-count

    It is going to be an interesting end to an interesting year. Coleman now trails Franken in the re-count.
    Last edited by Golddogs; 12-23-2008 at 08:29 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    It's definitely still up in the air. The final result will undoubtedly be determined by the absentee ballots that were rejected in error. Historically, absentee ballots have favored republicans. In this election, because of the strong efforts by the Obama campaign to focus on getting absentee ballots, that has shifted and the expectation is that the rejected absentee ballots will favor Franken. That is why Coleman has fought so hard to keep them from being counted.

    A review of rejected absentee ballots by the canvassing boards found that about 1500-1600 had been rejected inappropriately. A number of others were rejected appropriately but in ways where a voter could challenge the rejection and succeed (e.g. signature on ballot envelope doesn't match last signature on record with the commission). On a normal basis, those individual challenges are heard on a case by case basis by the courts after the vote has been certified. However, the state supreme court ruled that in cases where the election boards decided for themselves that a vote had been rejected without any valid reason it should be counted in the recount. The problem is that the state court said that all parties would need to agree that there was no valid reason for the rejection and partisan concerns seem likely to prevent any such agreement.

    Current best guestimates are that, before counting these votes, Franken will lead by around 50 votes or less. That could be reversed to a similarly small lead by Coleman if the Coleman campaign is successful at getting 130 ballots excluded that it alleges are duplicate copies of ballots already counted. Either way, the absentee ballots will decide the election. If I were betting, I would bet that Franken will win by a few hundred votes when the dust settles but that Coleman may be announced as the winner first with the final judgment made in court.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hoosier's Avatar
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    Coleman campaign is successful at getting 130 ballots excluded that it alleges are duplicate copies of ballots already counted
    These votes were already counted, and the canvasing board acknowledges that they were. They were duplicated because the ballots were damaged. They said they had to count them, and a judge would have to be the one to throw them out. They are known to be replacement for damaged ballots. Let's see how much Frankens people complain when they don't count these Duplicate Ballots.

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    Senior Member K.Bullock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier View Post
    These votes were already counted, and the canvasing board acknowledges that they were. They were duplicated because the ballots were damaged. They said they had to count them, and a judge would have to be the one to throw them out. They are known to be replacement for damaged ballots. Let's see how much Frankens people complain when they don't count these Duplicate Ballots.
    So ...they just keep recounting until they get the desired result?
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    Senior Member Hoosier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.Bullock View Post
    So ...they just keep recounting until they get the desired result?
    Bingo, same as they tried in 2000

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.Bullock View Post
    So ...they just keep recounting until they get the desired result?
    Did that in the WA State Gov Election 4 years ago - works really well if you want to disenfranchise real voters!! , but we're a Blue State. & stuck till the RE market goes up.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Really, was there ever any doubt that they'd keep counting until Franken had enough votes to "win?"

  8. #8
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier View Post
    These votes were already counted, and the canvasing board acknowledges that they were. They were duplicated because the ballots were damaged. They said they had to count them, and a judge would have to be the one to throw them out. They are known to be replacement for damaged ballots. Let's see how much Frankens people complain when they don't count these Duplicate Ballots.
    As I understand it, Minnesota procedures require that, when a ballot cannot be read by the machine, the information on it is copied to another ballot and that ballot is fed into the counting machine. The copy is marked as a copy and the original is marked as the original and the two are supposed to be attached to each other. In this case I believe the originals were not found but the copies were. An initial hearing ordered that they be counted and the Coleman campaign is contesting that decision, not because they are copies but because the originals were not found.

    The election commission includes two republicans, two independents, and the Commissioner of elections who is a democrat. I've been following this story fairly closely and have not seen any indication of particular partisanship in the review. Overall, the Minnesota election commission has gotten high marks for transparency and good work in sharp contrast to the Florida fiasco in 2000 (and several elections since).

    The biggest "scandal" to date has been the treatment of absentee ballots because of the complexity of the instructions for completing ballots, the ease with which they are discarded with or without justification, and the difficulty of challenging those decisions. It is pretty amazing to have a vote this close given the number of votes cast.

    Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect system for counting votes but Minnesota seems to have done more than most states in trying to improve accuracy and fairness in the process. Judging the process by whether or not you agree with the results may feel good but has nothing to do with democracy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hoosier's Avatar
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    That's right Jeff. What's supposed to happen is the damaged ballots are to be kept with the duplicate. In these cases they were not, and both copies were counted in the recount. The board acknowledges that they were counted twice and that it's up to the courts to sort it out. So when they were not kept together they were both counted.

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    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    The possibility that Frankin might become a US Senator is an insult to the voters of Minn and the US Senate.
    Last edited by Bob Gutermuth; 12-23-2008 at 12:42 PM.
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