Lott: Minnesota could be the new Washington

posted at 4:30 pm on November 10, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Or, as Dr. John Lott explains in his latest column, Minnesota may avoid the distinction of being the latest poster state for voter fraud if elections officials can take control of the process quickly.  John notes that the additional votes “discovered” for Al Franken against Norm Coleman seem suspicious, especially since they involve mainly three precincts out of over four thousand:

Virtually all of Franken’s new votes came from just three out of 4130 precincts, and almost half the gain (246 votes) occurred in one precinct — Two Harbors, a small town north of Duluth along Lake Superior — a heavily Democratic precinct where Obama received 64 percent of the vote. None of the other races had any changes in their vote totals in that precinct.

To put this change in perspective, that single precinct’s corrections accounted for a significantly larger net swing in votes between the parties than occurred for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, or state house races.

The two other precincts (Mountain Iron in St. Louis county and Partridge Township in Pine county) accounted for another 100 votes each. The change in each precinct was half as large as the pickup for Obama from the corrections for the entire state.

The likelihood of this occurence seems outlandishly small.  John doesn’t discount the possibility that all of the corrections could favor one candidate, or that all of the mistakes involve less than 0.1% of all the precincts in Minnesota.  It is, however, suspicious as hell, especially with the “discovery” of 32 absentee ballots in the car of a poll worker.

Lott saw some of the same shenanigans in Washington in 2004, during the hotly contested gubernatorial race that saw Dino Rossi’s election-day win snatched out of his hands.  Minnesota has something going for it that Washington lacked, however — a superior voting process:

Indeed, it is probably through the discovery of new votes that Franken has his best shot of picking up new votes. Despite the press pushing a possible replay of election judges divining voters’ intentions by looking at “hanging chads” to see if voters meant to punch a hole, that shouldn’t be an issue in Minnesota. The reason is simple: optical scan vote counting machines return ballots to voters if no vote is recorded for a contested race.

The Associated Press piece with the title “Most Minn. Senate ‘undervotes’ are from Obama turf” misinformed readers about what undervotes really imply. The Minneapolis Star Tribune headline similarly claimed “An analysis of ballots that had a vote for president but no vote for U.S. senator could have recount implications.”

Voters themselves insert their ballot into the machine that reads and records their votes, and if the machine finds that a vote isn’t recorded, voters can either mark the race that they forgot to mark or didn’t mark clearly. Or if voters “overvoted” and accidentally marked too many candidates, voters can also get a fresh ballot. There should be no role to divine voters’ intentions. If a voter wanted a vote recorded for a particular race, the machine tells him whether his vote in all the races was counted.

Undervotes come from voters who decide not to cast votes in certain races.  A small percentage of voters will choose not to vote for a Senate candidate, even if they voted in the presidential race, and vice versa.  In fact, John notes that the undervote count for the presidency was 0.4% this year in Minnesota, and the undervote count for the Senate 0.8%.  Congressional undervote rates exceeded 3%.  That in itself has no implications at all for recounts, as John notes; if they wanted to vote in these races, voters had both the opportunity and the expertise to do so, and chose to ignore them.

Hopefully, John’s right about this.  We just had another shift in the vote gap, this time from 221 — which is where we were at when John wrote this piece — to 204 today.  That should be the final tally when the counties certify the results and allow the recount to take place.  Hopefully, we will get an honest process and result, which is better than what we’ve seen over the last few days.

Update: King Banaian has more thoughts, including a reminder that a typo in the hundreds place (as was one explanation of the shifts) is one mistake, not a hundred separate ones.  Still, this looks quite suspicious, and King has a couple of other updates as well.


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204 away today….+564 tomorrow.

carbon_footprint on November 10, 2008 at 4:34 PM

Hopefully, we will get an honest process and result, which is better than what we’ve seen over the last few days.

It’s sad that that sentence had to be prefaced with the word hopefully.

myrenovations on November 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Every day Coleman’s lead has been dwindling. Are there ever any fishy voting that favors Republians? Maybe there have been, but it seems lately that wherever there are voting shenanegans, Democrats win.

Grafted on November 10, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Somewhere in the ether the ghost of Saul Alinsky will find another 205 votes for Al Franken. Strike that – another 300 votes will be found. They seem to come in lots of a hundred.

Sergei on November 10, 2008 at 4:37 PM

If you’re interested, here’s the tool you can use to find out how likely it is that dozens of votes for one candidate suddenly materialized.

As for determining how likely the results of the recount are, this tool will work, provided that instead of Republican vs Democrat, you pit Candidate A against Not Candidate A.

ironman on November 10, 2008 at 4:38 PM

I’m surprised they haven’t already produced 1000 black people to say they were intimidated by Republicans and didn’t vote.

rockmom on November 10, 2008 at 4:38 PM

What a nightmare scenario,an emotional,
crying-in-fits,angry Liberal Stuart!

canopfor on November 10, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Please don’t remind me about Dino’s loss in 2004.

nickj116 on November 10, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Just imagine all of these Democrat poll workers thinking “If there were only 200 more votes for my guy…”
The temptation must be overwhelming, and a low resistance to temptation seems to be a prerequisite for being a Democrat.

Count to 10 on November 10, 2008 at 4:43 PM

I’m just waiting for the musings coming from the Left about how elections are just so messy and let’s do away with them, especially now that the “right” people are in office.

But hey, let’s hear more about Dear Leader’s family getting a puppy.

rbj on November 10, 2008 at 4:43 PM

I’m just waiting for the musings coming from the Left about how elections are just so messy and let’s do away with them, especially now that the “right” people are in office.

I’ve already heard it from a few of the loonier online Moonbats, heh.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on November 10, 2008 at 4:44 PM

Next time we need to win this above the margin of fraud.

pt on November 10, 2008 at 4:45 PM

I’ll tell you, this stinks to high heaven…it’s shameful that a recount even has to take place given the rotten character of Franken, a loathsome elitist if there ever was one.

Richard Romano on November 10, 2008 at 4:46 PM

The only question is how many recounts will it take for Franken to win. It’s deja vu all over again.

rw on November 10, 2008 at 4:46 PM

ED! get Dr. Lott on TEMS!!!

mad saint jack on November 10, 2008 at 4:47 PM

You think Mrs. Franken ever lies awake at night and dreams of having a normal husband?

AubieJon on November 10, 2008 at 4:48 PM

[Channeling nondescript libtard] Coleman: Selected not elected!!!!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on November 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM

Is this what they mean when they say “yes we can”?

lanesmerge on November 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM

…low resistance to temptation seems to be a prerequisite for being a Democrat.

Count to 10 on November 10, 2008 at 4:43 PM

because they are Godless cretins. Give me one good reason that a Democrat should tell the truth? What consequence would they suffer for lying?

Pathetic is what it is.

kirkill on November 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM

Is this what they mean when they say “yes we can”?

lanesmerge on November 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM

They mean a lot of things.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on November 10, 2008 at 4:51 PM

I’ll be surprised if they don’t successfully steal this one. And I imagine Republicans will complain but will ultimately do nothing about it.

Ditto with the whole Jones-Kelley thing in Ohio – she’ll skate, and Republicans will complain and do nothing more.

thirteen28 on November 10, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Outrageous.

Sekhmet on November 10, 2008 at 4:55 PM

If I was Coleman, and I’m not, I would be out hammering the pro-Coleman precincts to make sure that every vote has been countied. Got me?

JAW on November 10, 2008 at 4:56 PM

You think……

AubieJon on Nov 10,2008 at 4:48PM.

AubieJon: Excellent question!

In the day time,she probably married Stuart,
and when Stuart is asleep,she married Al
Franken,eewwwwww,I think that thought of mine
is a tad creepy!!!Ha ha:)

canopfor on November 10, 2008 at 4:56 PM

As an American and a resident of Washington state, I can tell you that the knowledge your election is being stolen, and feeling powerless to do anything about it, is a terrible, terrible feeling.

I can relate to you all in Minnesota, very strongly.

This has got to stop, but no one will stop it…and the more we let this go, the more we insure that we will have less and less power to stop it in the future.

We’re losing, guys. Be afraid.

capitalist piglet on November 10, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Please don’t remind me about Dino’s loss in 2004.

nickj116 on November 10, 2008 at 4:42 PM

What’s just as bad is that Christine “Chris” Gregoire was rewarded with a second term after stealing it the first time.

Unreal.

capitalist piglet on November 10, 2008 at 5:01 PM

If that clown becomes Senator Clown…well, I give up folks. That’s it. We’re through.

Brat on November 10, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Undervotes come from voters who decide not to cast votes in certain races. A small percentage of voters will choose not to vote for a Senate candidate, even if they voted in the presidential race, and vice versa

I voted for Bob Dole as the Presidential candidate, but as a small measure of protest I did not vote for Olympia Snowe for Senate (or the Democrat alternative). When the 2000 recount happened I was astonished to see election officials divine votes for Gore that were probably left blank intentionally.

Buy Danish on November 10, 2008 at 5:03 PM

If Franken were to be killed, either Coleman would win, or the stolen vote would allow GOP governor Pawlenty to replace him.

Note that he has a tendency to lose it; if someone were to get into his space and then shove his nose into his brain, it would be arguably self-defense.

Kenno on November 10, 2008 at 5:03 PM

Yeah, Dino won in 2004 here, and Casino Chris stole it.

Kevin in Washington State on November 10, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Casino Chris stole the 2004 election from Dino for sure.

Kevin in Washington State on November 10, 2008 at 5:09 PM

I’ll be surprised if they don’t successfully steal this one. And I imagine Republicans will complain but will ultimately do nothing about it.
thirteen28 on November 10, 2008 at 4:54 PM

The same spirited defense will be mounted that eliminated the 400,000 fraudulent ACORN votes, that resulted in the release of the tapes held by the L.A. Times, that brought criminal charges for campaign finance violations./sarc/

Mulligan on November 10, 2008 at 5:09 PM

Democrats can not stand to lose. Just look at efforts and reaction to Florida 2000. Obama has had success having his opponents removed from the ballot. In California the Governor is urging Prop 8protestors to keep going until they succeed. Franken’s supporters are upset because the 5,000 votes they originally stuffed for Franken were not quite enough. Heartache.

jerseyman on November 10, 2008 at 5:11 PM

I am from MN and so is Ed. Maybe we should check the trunks of our cars for any Coleman ballots…….this state is a bottom feeder when it comes to nominating anything that breathes for elected office. It’s embarassing.

Sweetness0726 on November 10, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Maybe John McCain can take on election reform as his next big reform initiative.

RushBaby on November 10, 2008 at 5:17 PM

You think Mrs. Franken ever lies awake at night and dreams of having a normal husband?

AubieJon on November 10, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Stuart Smalley is MARRIED? The only person I could see being married to Stuart is Jeneane Garafalo. EWWWW!

HornetSting on November 10, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Yes we can! (When nobody’s looking.)

whitetop on November 10, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Stuart Smalley is MARRIED? The only person I could see being married to Stuart is Jeneane Garafalo. EWWWW!

Or that sexy little goddess, Sandra Bernhard.

whitetop on November 10, 2008 at 5:21 PM

How do we even know if all the voters that voted were qualified to vote? There was no voter fraud in Minn? I don’t believe it.

patrick neid on November 10, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Or that sexy little goddess, Sandra Bernhard.

whitetop on November 10, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Uch. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Thanks, whitetop. But, you are right. Sandra Bernhard likes girls…

HornetSting on November 10, 2008 at 5:28 PM

…especially with the “discovery” of 32 absentee ballots in the car of a poll worker.

Why, this is not at all unusual in a heavily Democrap precinct.

labrat on November 10, 2008 at 5:28 PM

But the 32 absentee ballots found in the car five days later were only 87.5% for Franken, so obviously there’s no funny business. :)

RBMN on November 10, 2008 at 5:47 PM

RBMN on November 10, 2008 at 5:47 PM

Oops. Forgot about Barkley. Only 67% were Franken votes. How fair can you get? :)

RBMN on November 10, 2008 at 5:51 PM

I must be double posting – LOL

Kevin in Washington State on November 10, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Minnesota, find yourself another country. And take Pennsylvania with you.

Percy_Peabody on November 10, 2008 at 6:09 PM

Right on schedule, just as predicted by Quinn Hillyer in the American Spectator (“Saul Alinsky Takes the White House”)

It will begin with their efforts to secure a filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators (including the two independents). Right now the libs (and yes, all the Democratic senators, with the possible exception of Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, are libs) have 56, with three Republican moderates and one conservative leading their races but awaiting recounts or runoffs. Watch for the Alinskyites to try stealing all four, and to succeed in at least two. We’ve seen this game before. They did it in Indiana’s “Bloody Eighth” congressional district in 1984. They almost succeeded in 2000 in Florida. They did succeed, outrageously so, in the Washington State governor’s race in 2004. Those are just the most obvious of many similar examples. And now they are even more ruthless, more lawyered-up, and in a more powerful position to pull it off than they were in any of those instances.

Next, watch what happens if they regularly can’t peel off enough Republicans (or hold their own semi-fairminded people like Nelson and Joe Lieberman) to overcome whatever filibuster attempts Republicans do mount. Watch for an assault on the filibuster itself.

petefrt on November 10, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Undervotes come from voters who decide not to cast votes in certain races. A small percentage of voters will choose not to vote for a Senate candidate, even if they voted in the presidential race, and vice versa.

Is this REALLY that unusual? I leave races blank in pretty much every election. At the very least, I’ve got a RINO as a US House Rep. I don’t vote for Dems, doesn’t matter if they have a D or an R after their name. I leave it blank. Isn’t this pretty common???

Brian Paasch on November 10, 2008 at 6:30 PM

I posted here that Coleman-Franken 08 is eerily similar to Rossi-Gregoire 04. I also have a string of questions for the election officials that’s must reading.

LFRGary on November 10, 2008 at 6:33 PM

Minnesota republicans– fight this tooth & nail, because no, you won’t come back & win the seat back again if you bow (to the fraud) gracefully. Ask Rossi.

Security Mom on November 10, 2008 at 7:41 PM

You knew Tuesday night when it was so close that these ba$tards had every intention of stealing this election.

Goodale on November 10, 2008 at 7:54 PM

Al Franken is a man? I did not no that.All this time I
thought Al was a lesbian.Dam it

Denniscat on November 10, 2008 at 9:05 PM

If I was Coleman, and I’m not, I would be out hammering the pro-Coleman precincts to make sure that every vote has been countied. Got me?

JAW on November 10, 2008 at 4:56 PM

If it has gotten to the point where the only way Democrat fraud can be answered is fraud on our side, we no longer have a Republic, and no obligation to follow the laws passed by not our representatives…

Are there really *none* on the left that care about their penchant for stealing elections? Really?

18-1 on November 10, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Democrats will stoop to nothing to get what they want. Seems odd that cheating wasn’t even investigated. I thought they said today, that there were more ballots then the population of this one small town. Or maybe they were talking about another State. It is wrong! Cheating, Lying, and stealing. Is just wrong.

sheebe on November 10, 2008 at 11:13 PM

As an American and a resident of Washington state, I can tell you that the knowledge your election is being stolen, and feeling powerless to do anything about it, is a terrible, terrible feeling.

I can relate to you all in Minnesota, very strongly.

This has got to stop, but no one will stop it…and the more we let this go, the more we insure that we will have less and less power to stop it in the future.

We’re losing, guys. Be afraid.

capitalist piglet on November 10, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Whew! That is true. Is why we need strong Conservatives that will not take this crap. Only thing that gets me is the illegals that are allowed to vote. but you are right. We are losing. And I have been very afraid. This whole election was a scam. But, I feel we all realize this.

sheebe on November 10, 2008 at 11:19 PM

Pray like it’s important, folks.

Doug on November 11, 2008 at 1:09 AM

I liked this over at Power Line:

“the one Franken bump that is clearly dubious is the 30-plus absentee ballots that a Democrat ostensibly discovered in the back seat of her car.”

Yup. Now why would a Democrat have 30 absentee ballots in her car that were all for Frankin? And if they weren’t turned in by election day, why are they still being counted?

And why is every single error in Frankin’s favor?

crosspatch on November 11, 2008 at 1:58 AM

and almost half the gain (246 votes) occurred in one precinct — Two Harbors, a small town north of Duluth along Lake Superior — a heavily Democratic precinct where Obama received 64 percent of the vote. None of the other races had any changes in their vote totals in that precinct.

They found 264 ballots with votes for Franken, but all of the other races, including president, were left blank?????

That fact alone screams of fraud.

MarkTheGreat on November 11, 2008 at 6:58 AM

Every day Coleman’s lead has been dwindling. Are there ever any fishy voting that favors Republians? Maybe there have been, but it seems lately that wherever there are voting shenanegans, Democrats win.

Grafted on November 10, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Reminds me of Florida 2000. Every correction decreased Bush’s lead. There was not a single “correction” that increased his lead.

I’ve been saying that 2008 may be the last honest election we see in this country. I may have been wrong.

MarkTheGreat on November 11, 2008 at 7:01 AM

Every day Coleman’s lead has been dwindling. Are there ever any fishy voting that favors Republians? Maybe there have been, but it seems lately that wherever there are voting shenanegans, Democrats win.

Grafted on November 10, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Reminds me of Florida, 2000. Every single “correction” decreased Bush’s lead.

I’ve been saying for awhile that if Obama wins, that 2008 could turn out to be the last fair election in this country for generations. It looks like I was too optimistic.

MarkTheGreat on November 11, 2008 at 7:04 AM

MarkTheGreat on November 11, 2008 at 7:01 AM

Reading more carefully, it’s obvious that they were talking about undervotes, not new ballots. It’s not so amazing that the other races weren’t changed, since the examiners were probably only looking at the senate race.

On the other hand it’s highly unlikely that there would be 264 accidental undervotes for Fanken, and 0 for Coleman.

Additionally, Capt. Ed was quick to correct me when I speculated about another round of “hanging chads”. It looks like I may have been more prophetic than Ed cares to admit. Looks to me like we are going to have a court ordered round of ballot divination, where the appointed oracles visually examine ballots in order to determine what the voters really meant.

MarkTheGreat on November 11, 2008 at 7:07 AM

This should make a great SNL skit for Franken!

gary on November 11, 2008 at 9:07 AM