Minnesota Recount: Lying Liars edition
posted at 8:55 am on November 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Al Franken’s campaign hit a new low when they tried to argue that they should get all of the personal information connected to rejected absentee ballots in order for them to determine the legitimacy of the rejection. They spun a sad tale of a Bemidji woman whose ballot got rejected because her signature had changed — due to a stroke. This touching tale had everything to pull on the heartstrings … except the truth (via Power Line)
A touching story the Franken campaign told at mid-day Thursday about how a Beltrami County women’s stroke-impaired signature led to her ballot being rejected proved flawed.
“We are still investigating,” Franken spokesman Andy Barr said Thursday night, adding that while the woman’s absentee ballot was rejected it was not because of her shaky signature as he reported a few hours earlier.
The woman’s story was carried by news organizations in Minnesota and beyond.
Franken’s U.S. Senate campaign originally said an 84-year-old Beltrami County woman’s post-stroke handwriting did not match her voter registration signature, so election officials rejected her ballot.
The county’s top elections official said she told the Franken campaign that was not the case.
“Beltrami County does not have one ballot that was rejected because signatures didn’t match and the Franken campaign was clearly told that,” County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack said. “I don’t know where they are getting that from.”
This is why candidates don’t do the “investigating”. County boards make those decisions, and this latest lie from Franken — who literally wrote the book on lying — shows the wisdom of that approach. The county flat-out told Franken that no ballot got rejected on the basis of signature, and the campaign made that claim to the national media anyway. That makes them liars.
The Coleman campaign responded by alleging that Franken wanted to stuff the ballot box with illegitimate votes in an attempt to, as Mark Ritchie put it, win at any price. There doesn’t seem to be a better explanation of this false claim and their demand for personal information. They want to browbeat voters and county boards into generating votes that don’t exist in order to steal the election.
The Minnesota courts need to shut Franken down fast and hard. The recount should only involve the ballots certified as legitimate by the counties on Election Day. Franken can’t win with the legitimate ballots alone, though, and apparently he has no problem with stealing an election with illegitimate ballots instead.