On Wednesday morning it was 725; on Wednesday night it was 477; on Thursday night it was down to 336; by Friday it was 239; Sunday it was 221; and by today it was down to only 204. Are we talking about the Dow Jones falling on Wall Street? No, we are talking about the incredible shrinking margin of Sen. Norm Coleman’s victory over Al Franken.
There is no question that there are usually some slight changes in the vote totals in counties throughout a state as election officials check the final tallies and vote counts that were accumulated on Election Day. But when the vote totals in an election like the Coleman-Franken race are almost evenly split, one would expect that any subsequent adjustments being made would tend to follow the same pattern unless there is something funny (or potentially illegal going on).
As statistician and researcher John Lott points out at FoxNews.com, corrections were posted for other races, too, but they “were only a fraction of those for the Senate” race. And all of the “corrections” for the Coleman-Franken race have resulted in more votes for Franken. Almost half of all of Franken’s new votes came from one Democrat precinct in Two Harbors, Minn., and the rest from two other precincts. Funny thing, though. No other races in that Democrat precinct had any “corrections” that had to be made in their vote totals.
In fact, as Lott concludes, all of the new votes for Franken from those three precincts are greater “than adding together all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, and state house races combined.” If all of these “corrections” were really just the result of local election official correcting mistaken tallies, one would expect the corrections to closely mirror the actual vote split on Election Day. If local officials in Two Harbors were so careless that they had to correct almost 250 votes in the Coleman-Franken race, why is that they did not make the same types of errors in any other races? I suppose that is possible, but it is a bit hard to believe.
Should we be worried about what is going on here? Should we be worried that Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is an ACORN-endorsed official who was elected in 2006 with considerable help from the Secretary of State Project, a liberal 527 organization whose goal is to control secretary of state offices throughout the nation? Should we be worried that the SoS Project called Ritchie the most “progressive” secretary of state in the nation? Or that in 2003 he led National Voice, a voting coalition sponsored by radical organizations like MoveOn.org, Greenpeace and the National Council of Churches?
No matter how much the final vote tally shrinks before it is certified, there will be a recount. A key factor in that recount may be Minnesota Statute 204C.22, which says that a “ballot shall not be rejected for a technical error that does not make it impossible to determine the voter’s intent.” In other words, it seems that Ritchie and other local election officials may have the final say in determining voter “intent” on questionable ballots. I guess it will just be a funny coincidence if those determinations all seem to follow the same incredible pattern as the “corrections” to the vote count have so far in Minnesota, i.e., the “intent” always favoring Franken in the recount. Let’s hope they don’t, because all of us — Democrats, Republicans and independents — have an interest in a fair election process that does not allow partisan bias to change the outcome of an election as voted by the American electorate.