Minnesota Recount: How to Stuff a Ballot Box, and other developments

posted at 11:46 am on December 3, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when we used to brag about Minnesota’s election system?  It seems to have developed a few blemishes since then.  The state has now launched an investigation as to how 171 ballots suddenly materialized in a Maplewood precinct, giving Al Franken a 37-vote boost in the process.  Soren Dayton points out that the original explanation — a malfunctioning machine — doesn’t wash:

The votes on November 4th were: Coleman 542, Franken 628.  After today’s count, they stand at Coleman 596, Franken 719.  A net increase of 37 votes for Franken.

One possible explanation, offered by the Maplewood City Clerk, was that the automark scanner malfunctioned during the day and a replacement scanner was brought to the precinct.  The ballots that were already cast may not have been re-scanned.  But when a scanner malfunctions, it is recorded on the precinct Polling Place Incident Log.  Here is the log from Maplewood P-6,  a malfunction is not listed.

I’m curious as to how the discovered ballots favored Franken so heavily.  Coleman only picked up 54 of those votes (31.6%), while Franken got 81 (47.4%).  As I noted yesterday, Coleman won 39% of the vote for that precinct in the general election, while Franken got 45%.   That should have resulted in the gain of a dozen votes, not three dozen, for Franken.  If the machine didn’t malfunction and the ballot counts matched on Election Day, I’d call this rather fishy.

Franken won another round yesterday in the absentee-ballot issue, but a largely procedural one:

The day’s other news — which Franken’s campaign quickly described as a “breakthrough” — came when Ritchie’s office asked local election officials to examine an estimated 12,000 rejected absentee ballots and determine whether their rejection fell under one of four reasons for rejection defined in state law. The Secretary of State’s office asked that ballots that were rejected for something other than the four legal reasons be placed into a so-called “fifth category.”

The fifth category, Ritchie’s office said, could also include absentee ballots rejected for reasons that were “not based on factual information.”

Ritchie’s office, while stressing that the ballots be examined but not counted, asked that the task be completed by Dec. 18.

I’d hardly call this a breakthrough.  Ritchie anticipates the challenge Franken will file in the court, and he’s assuming (and hoping) that Franken will win some sort of review of rejected absentee ballots.  Ritchie’s order gives the county boards a head start on reviewing the ballots and verifying that they were statutorily rejected.  If not, then the fifth pile count will give some idea of the scope of the issue on which Franken will argue.  It doesn’t actually change anything, and in fact may demonstrate that the problem is so small that it will have little effect on the election.

Of course, if Franken ballots keep materializing in the precincts, he may not need to worry about it.


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Where is Tom Brokaw and the Fleecing of America?

cobrakai99 on December 3, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Magic!

FlatFoot on December 3, 2008 at 11:54 AM

According to Frankenmath, he should be within 13 votes now….

cs89 on December 3, 2008 at 11:57 AM

Question: If somehow this election pendulum swings to Frankens favor, can Coleman call for another recount?

Tommy_G on December 3, 2008 at 11:58 AM

What are the penalties for Minnesota polling place workers not fulfilling their legal responsibilities?

No consequences for bad behavior? Then why do we still, in America, continue to expect good things to happen?

bryanmyrick on December 3, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Of course, if Franken ballots keep materializing in the precincts, he may not need to worry about it.

……………. Isn’t that George Soros driving down the road?

Seven Percent Solution on December 3, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Hmmm…. isn’t there a record kept of everyone who voted? To ensure they don’t vote twice?

It should be very easy to count the number of people who voted in that precinct, and compare that with the numbers we are getting on the recount…

Romeo13 on December 3, 2008 at 12:01 PM

…here’s a tidy solution: make the state pay for yet another election. Forget the recount…it’s tainted beyond measuring anyway…hold another vote….

…honestly, the fact that this meat puppet Franken is at all in contention in Minnesota speaks ill and speaks volumes about the electorate in Minnesota…in a democracy, after all, you can have anyone you want fill any office you want…if you’re willing to harvest the consequences for electing weasels with thumbs to govern….

Puritan1648 on December 3, 2008 at 12:04 PM

I’m just wondering if the newly “found” ballots were printed on a 1970′s vintage printer, usually only found at high-end print shops of the era, as well as small Texas Air National Guard units for officers to print CYA memos.

Has anyone called Dan Rather to look in to this?

Wino on December 3, 2008 at 12:04 PM

“If at first you don’t succeed…” manufacture more ballots!

How sad.

kingsjester on December 3, 2008 at 12:05 PM

YEAH….and GW stole the election in 2000…..when this is done stinking up Minnesota, it will make hanging Chads seem tame….

SDarchitect on December 3, 2008 at 12:06 PM

I detest Mr. Frankenstein! What a loser, a liar and a cheat! I wish him…. err $%*#@# #$&*^!

sheebe on December 3, 2008 at 12:06 PM

I thought that unused ballots were to be counted and sealed in a package separate from the spoiled ballots and the valid ballots. The pictures on Soren Dayton’s website show loose, unused ballots stacked up.

And the valid ballots in document boxes with open holes for hands when carrying. Holes large enough to stuff ballots through.

At least there are supposedly records of how many people voted, according to the voter register. Wonder how they’ll square that there are more “valid” ballots than people marked as voting. (“Ooops! We got busy and forgot to mark off some people as voting”?)

Wethal on December 3, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Democrat voting fraud is now common place thriughout the nation and no one seems to care.

pat on December 3, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Hey, we still have people displaying “Wellstone” signs in their yards here, six years after the man’s death; remember that when you ponder this ongoing fiasco.

I’ll be forming a partisan militia when the end comes, fighting for freedom behind the Walleye Curtain.

Bishop on December 3, 2008 at 12:15 PM

Democratic voting fraud appears to be the rule; not the reception….

DL13 on December 3, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Please, somebody, convince that crooked state to secede and take that moron Franken with them.

rplat on December 3, 2008 at 12:32 PM

We can put a man on the moon, but not count votes reliably.

indythinker on December 3, 2008 at 12:34 PM

the fact that this meat puppet Franken Obama is at all in contention in Minnesota was elected POTUS speaks ill and speaks volumes about the electorate in Minnesota this entire country.
Puritan1648 on December 3, 2008 at 12:04 PM

I think there’s plenty of ‘WTF is wrong with you people’ to go around.

BigWyo on December 3, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Question: If somehow this election pendulum swings to Frankens favor, can Coleman call for another recount?

Nope. Recounts come to a screaching halt once the Democrat wins. See Washington State Governor’s election in ’04.

crazy_legs on December 3, 2008 at 12:42 PM

Looks like some election workers need to go to jail. A high-profile court case followed by six months in jail should put the fear of God into poll workers around the country.

Kafir on December 3, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Where is Tom Brokaw and the Fleecing of America?

He’s busy preparing for his job in Obama’s administration.

meltenn on December 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM

This is a bad joke right…? An Al Freaken victory will signal the true end of representative government and confirm our plunge towards a “central committee” based fascism.

Healing we are Feeling!

dmann on December 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM

“Puff the Magic Ballot” reside in Minnehsoota
The don’t count until after election day if the DFL doesn’t get his way”

I think the cold weather has frozen more than a few brain cells in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, imao.

Branch Rickey on December 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM

oops “The” = “They”

Branch Rickey on December 3, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Franken loses even if he wins. Remember Air America? Remember Lateline? (no)
Remember when he and Davis oversaw the absolute nadir of SNL?(no)
Congressional approval numbers already dip below Charles Manson’s. Adding Senator Franken to the Roll Call would cheapen and demean Congress even more (if possible).
Washington loses if he wins. We all lose.

Doug on December 3, 2008 at 12:46 PM

If the machine didn’t malfunction and the ballot counts matched on Election Day, I’d call this rather fishy.

Boy, you take one photo of an empty incident log and extrapolate that a voting machine must not have malfunctioned? Ever think that the photo was taken at 6am? (what’s fishy is that the context of when the photo was taken is not given) Or that maybe they didn’t log the complaint.

A little advice, when making an accusation as large as vote fraud, try gathering a little more evidence first. It’s serious charge, especially against people who volunteer their time on election day.

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM

From now on, whenever I see or hear Al Franken, I am going to think “thief”. But let’s hope it is only attempted theft.

rbj on December 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Yada Yada Yada….blah blah blah

bleat bleat bleat
Lil Shipley Sheep

Branch Rickey on December 3, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Lil Shipley Sheep

Since when is questioning a claim being a sheep? The irony is that people like rbj:

From now on, whenever I see or hear Al Franken, I am going to think “thief”. But let’s hope it is only attempted theft.

Are the ones acting like sheep by taking Ed’s insinuation (based on weak evidence) and treating it as fact. He’s saying what they want to hear and they’re more than happy to lap it up. It’s one reason Ed gets by on his lazy, dishonest habit of insinuation.

So spare me your idiotic name-calling.

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 12:56 PM

If anybody still thinks Gore legitimately won the popular vote in 2000, guess again.

whitetop on December 3, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Minnesota, the sister state of Zimbabwe.
No Bananas grow there therefore the walleye republic of Minnesota.

jellybelly on December 3, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Listen here Stuart Smalley, you aren’t good enough, smart enough and people don’t like you. So stop being an ass and concede with a little bit of dignity. It would be a first for your party.

pseudonominus on December 3, 2008 at 1:07 PM

Minnesota, the sister state of Zimbabwe.
No Bananas grow there therefore the walleye republic of Minnesota.

Maybe a little off-topic, but does that make Illinois the sister state of Kenya, because Illinois’ Senator campaigned for Kenya’s Prime Minister?

Steve Z on December 3, 2008 at 1:13 PM

If the machine broke down between 10:00 and 11:00 AM, most Republican voters would have been at their jobs, while Obamabot welfare flunkies would have been out for their early-morning stumble. Would make sense of more Franken votes were logged then.

Bruce in NH on December 3, 2008 at 1:15 PM

First, a minor math error: If Franken were awarded 719 votes from Maplewood P-6, that would be a 91 vote change from his previous total of 628. The respective percentage of votes recorded for the candidates from the 171 vote sample would be:

Coleman – 31.6% (compared to 38.2% of the adjusted total)
Franken – 53.2% (compared to 46.1% of the adjusted total)
Other – 15.2% (compared to 15.8% of the adjusted total)

If you were truly drawing from a fully and fairly randomized sample of 171 ballots from Maplewood P-6, you would have the following breakdown (based on the percentages of the adjusted total number of ballots):

Coleman – 65 (at 54, that’s 11 less than expected)
Franken – 79 (at 91, that’s 12 more than expected)
Other – 27 (at 26, that’s 1 less than expected)

Note the magnitude of the differences between actual and expected. Coleman’s difference is -11/65 (-17.5%), Franken’s difference is +12/79 (+15.5%) and the difference for Other is -1/27 (-3.5%). Proportionately, this outcome doesn’t make sense.

From a probability standpoint, the odds of drawing this particular “random” selection is the equivalent of drawing 23 (12+11) marbles of the same color in a row from a bag containing over 1561 marbles (my guesstimate of the total number of ballots cast in Maplewood P-6), of which 46% (719) are of the color being drawn. The probability of that happening is 67,175,529 to 1.

By comparison, it would be about 5 times more likely to win the grand prize of the California lottery (the odds of that are roughly 13,000,000 to 1.)

Just out of curiosity – is there one valid ballot for every voter counted as having voted in this precinct?

ironman on December 3, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 12:56 PM

I’m looking forward to your explanation of why counting the number of people who voted with against the number of ballots counted (including the 171 new ones). At the risk of the implication being out there that something is fishy in Denmark, of course. (the horror!) [And why'll we're worrying about harsh accusations let's not forget ---bush=hitlerbushstoletheelectionbushliedusintowarbushisspyingonpeoplebushistheimperialpresidentthere'llbetanksinthestreets. . . .]

smellthecoffee on December 3, 2008 at 1:16 PM

your explanation of why counting the number of people who voted with against the number of ballots counted (including the 171 new ones) is objectionable [it should have read.]

smellthecoffee on December 3, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Just out of curiosity – is there one valid ballot for every voter counted as having voted in this precinct?

ironman on December 3, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Thats the big question… voter rolls should show how many voted… its a simple count…

Either it did not match the origional total, which is strange as this should be checked right as the polls close…

Or it did match the origional total… and then we have a real problem.

Romeo13 on December 3, 2008 at 1:21 PM

I cleaned out three closets last week and found 286 MN ballots marked for Franken. Weird, huh?

tmq on December 3, 2008 at 1:23 PM

You can’t compare this to the 2000 election. That election dealt with malfunctioning machines and ballots; it didn’t deal with magically appearing ballots. So please stop with the madness about Bush stealing the 2000 election. Remember, there was a complete recount of all the ballots in Florida done in 2001 that confirmed that Bush won a majority of the vote. And that recount was funded by a variety of news organizations, including the New York Times. But that little fact about the recount never seems to make it into any of the stories about Bush stealing the election.

RedSoxNation on December 3, 2008 at 1:24 PM

The nationally known liberal comedian is struggling to eke out a win in Minnesota. Whatever happens, I just get a chuckle out of the years this is taking off his life.

Jim Treacher on December 3, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Or that maybe they didn’t log the complaint.

A little advice, when making an accusation as large as vote fraud, try gathering a little more evidence first. It’s serious charge, especially against people who volunteer their time on election day.

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM

What, do we need videotape of a pollworker wearing “Obama 08″ stickers filling out 37 ballots and sticking them into the machine before we’re allowed to question if these magically appearing ballots are valid?

Get a life.

cs89 on December 3, 2008 at 1:42 PM

I’ve been doing a few spot checks of the contested ballots on the MPR website, and there seems to be a pattern: resolving the challenges according to the “intent of the voter” seems to reverse the adjustments due to the recount.
A lot of the challenges seem to be baseless, related to people double-voting or writing-in illegible names on other races, but voting clearly in the Senate race. Many others seem to be based on improperly-marked ballots–voters putting an X or check-mark in the oval (or next to the candidate’s name), but doing the same thing throughout the ballot, for example putting an X next to John McCain, Norm Coleman, and Michelle Bachmann–the vote should count for all three!

Some examples:

Washington County: Coleman nets 12 in the recount, challenges 59 ballots, Franken challenges 52. Challenged ballots: Franken 55, Coleman 44, Barkley 2, No Vote 5. Franken nets 11 votes, within 1 vote of wiping out Coleman’s adjustment for the recount.

Steele County: Coleman nets 9 in the recount, challenges 10 ballots, Franken challenges 2. Challenged ballots: Franken 8, Coleman 2, no vote 2. Franken nets 6 votes in challenges, within 3 votes of wiping out Coleman’s adjustment for the recount.

Todd County: Coleman nets 10 in the recount, challengees 44 ballots, Frankcn challenges 33. Challenged ballots: Franken 42, Coleman 35, no vote 2. Franken nets 7 votes in challenges, within 3 votes of wiping out Coleman’s adjustment for the recount.

This can work the other way, as in Meeker County: Franken nets 43 in the recount, challenges 51 ballots, Coleman challenges only 7. Challenged ballots: Coleman 45, Franken 4, Barkley 2, no vote 1. Coleman nets 41 votes in challenges, wiping out all but 2 votes of Franken’s adjustment for the recount.

If this pattern holds, most of the challenges will be rejected on both sides, and the final result would be close to what would be obtained by adding Franken’s challenges to Coleman’s votes and adding Coleman’s challenges to Franken’s votes. As of now, with four full counties and 7% of Hennepin County left to count, Coleman leads by 303 votes, and has made 3,093 challenges to Franken’s 2,910 challenges. If all challenges are rejected, Coleman wins by 303 + 2,910 – 3,093 = 120 votes.

The counties left to count include two counties which Coleman won by over 13,000 votes each, two counties about evenly split, and 7% of Hennepin County, which Franken won by 91,000 votes.

This situation seems like it should favor Coleman holding his lead, unless HopenChange waves a magic wand and new Frankenballots appear out of nowhere.

Steve Z on December 3, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Go to hell, Minnesota. Find yourself another country.

Percy_Peabody on December 3, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Treacher,

Agreed. It’s hilarious watching Franken’s life imitate his art. He thinks he’s in control of his starring role in his farce. You just can’t write comedy this good!

Christien on December 3, 2008 at 1:48 PM

It’s one reason Ed gets by on his lazy, dishonest habit of insinuation.

So spare me your idiotic name-calling.

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Let’s see Lil Shipley Sheep – hit too close to home?

So spare me your idiotic name-calling.

Will do, when you stop pretending you are not a total poseur from another planet, imAo, and apologize to Ed of the insinuation that he is lazy? and/or dishonest?

So spare us your idiotic musings.

btw, Lil Shipley Sheep, Arianna is calling: your deadline is approaching so you might like to bugger off of the “annoy conservative blog duty” and get something up pronto-like at HuffPo so the Lame Stream Media can pick it up from Media Matters before Sissy M hits the air at 5:00….

p.s. almost forgot therighteous indignation “sigh” that accompanies all too often the Lil Shipley Sheep tyes [i.e. Wolves in Sheep clothing]

Branch Rickey on December 3, 2008 at 2:01 PM

They’re doing it, folks. They’re stealing it. This is exactly what they did in Washington state.

“Progressives” will do whatever they have to for power.

capitalist piglet on December 3, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Democrat voting fraud is now common place thriughout the nation and no one seems to care.

pat on December 3, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Well, we all care, but it feels like we’re screaming in a phone booth.

capitalist piglet on December 3, 2008 at 2:07 PM

I just do not understand how this can continue to be allowed. More than once, votes have been “found” in a very tight race. People wonder why we do not trust our election system. It is chock full of fraud. Any attempt to eliminate that fraud brings out the Franken types screaming disenfranchisement.

This entire recount has become absolutely insane.

kcarpenter on December 3, 2008 at 2:11 PM

it makes you wonder how many people in this country go to their graves knowing that they helped or tried to fix an election.

We need Jimmy Carter and UN monitors to supervise our elections. If we can do it in Haiti we can do it here.

grdred944 on December 3, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Several election judges have called into local radio stations explaining the process here in Minnesota. Finding 171 uncounted ballots should not happen… A malfunctioning ballot box is not pushed aside. Votes go into a separate bin inside the ballot box(the ballot box has several bins to separate votes, for example writeins go into their own bin). Takes about 30 minutes to fix the mechanism that reads the ballots. At the end of voting, all the bins are unlocked and emptied by a judge from each party, together. There are checkoffs for each bin in each ballot box. Did 171 people vote in 30 minutes, in one precinct? Both election workers overlook checking off the sheet? Tallying number of votes vs number placed? Etc, etc.
Fishy, indeed.

conservativegrandma on December 3, 2008 at 2:37 PM

I did a basic statistical test, the Pearson’s chi-square test, on the new ballots. The p-value was .03, which means that 3% of the time that pro-Franklin tilt would be this extreme or more extreme. I do think we should just assume that the pro-Franklin outcome was by chance. I’d suggest that in events like this we would need p-values below .01 before assuming the worst.

By the way the Pearson’s chi-square test is an approximation. With computers today, it’s easy to get the exact number, but then I would have do some research and I doubt it would make much difference.

thuja on December 3, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Oh, they are probably from the National Ballot Reserve. These are ballots that are set aside to be used in “emergencies”. In case of a close election, one party or another is allowed to “discover” a certain percentage of votes out of the National Ballot Reserve. But the Democrats seem to have “reserved” a larger portion of their ballots so their “discovery” rate is always much higher.

crosspatch on December 3, 2008 at 3:42 PM

Boy, you take one photo of an empty incident log and extrapolate that a voting machine must not have malfunctioned? Ever think that the photo was taken at 6am?

A little advice, when making an accusation as large as vote fraud, try gathering a little more evidence first.

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Take your own advice, the sheet is not in “any ones” hands, until it is released to be reviewed…after the polls have closed and the Secretary releases these logs to be analyzed…that is when the picture was taken, during the recount. It could not have been taken prior.
Here is some advice from you to you…

when making an accusation as large as vote fraud, try gathering a little more evidence first.

So now we will wait for your apology to Ed…as if…

right2bright on December 3, 2008 at 3:46 PM

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM

And why is it, every time you post, I have to come along and correct your lies.
This has to be at least 6 or seven times in the past couple of weeks that you have posted garbage and I have to correct you.
Have you no shame? No honor?

right2bright on December 3, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Another projection based on the figures in hand (December 3, 2008 1:31 PM):

According to the current numbers, Coleman finished the original voting with a 295 advantage.

Thus far in the recount, Coleman has gained an additional 80 votes in the recount. Since they’re nearing the completion of the recount, I’m ignoring the uncounted portion of the 5 counties that haven’t finished. The final here won’t change much as the counties that haven’t finished are small or nearly complete. This gives Coleman a net of 375 after the recount ends.

We now have some information about the challenges. We don’t know where the original 1000 that have been released came from so the breakdown between candidates doesn’t matter. However of the original 1,000 had 100 or 10% that could be eliminated. In addition another 21% doen’t get clear guidance from the law. Here are 3 different methods to project from this group of ballots:

The challenges will go like the MPR review: On the Minnesota Public Radio review of 1/6th of the challenged ballots, Coleman gained 20 votes. This is a fairly large sample, but we don’t know where it comes from nor what will happen with the 200 votes that Minnesota law gives unclear guidance. However projecting this gives Coleman another 180 votes.

Most challenges will be overruled — Coleman has challenged 3,095 vs 2,922 for Franken — this gives Franken a 138 ballot advantage in the challenges after subtracting 20% of truly bad ballots. This is actually my most likely case — I think that most of the challenges will be BS by both camps.

All challenges will go proportionately the way of the rest of the county: Proportionately more ballots were challenged in Coleman counties. Again subtracting 20% for truly bad ballots gives Coleman a 55 vote gain.

Adding these projections to the current totals gives Coleman a victory margin of between 237 and 555 votes. Tsunami Norm survives.

Normal caveats apply — The biggest one is that this assumes that 1 side was more vigorous in challenging ballots and will be disproportionately overturned. Or maybe another set of ballots will be found. Or maybe….

Buckland on December 3, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Here’s a question: when a marked ballot is rejected/discarded, is it destroyed or mutilated in a distinctive and irreversable way? Say by being stamped visibly and then cut corner to corner on a diagonal?

njcommuter on December 3, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Time that the Republicans started playing hardball. The denonrats pulled this crap in Florida, and almost got away with it, Pulled it in Waqshington and stole the governorship, and now are trying their best to steal a Senate seat here. How is it that they always gain on a recount?
Alittle hanky panky maybe?

Amazed on December 3, 2008 at 4:43 PM

“In a conference call, Elias said Franken leads Coleman by 22 votes at the end of last night’s count.”

Cheat till you win!

Christian Conservative on December 3, 2008 at 5:33 PM

Regarding Buckland’s interesting post:

Prior to the recount, Coleman’s lead wasn’t 295 votes, but 215 votes. He also lost a net 37 votes in the “newly found” ballots, so that would take him down to 177 votes pre-recount.

It’s difficult to project the results from the 1,000 challenged ballots to the entire sample, because the MPR website only posts partial samples in some of the larger counties, but complete samples (all the challenged ballots) in smaller counties where less than about 100 ballots were challenged.

Since my last post, I’ve looked at two more counties, and the pattern is holding. So far, I’ve studied six counties, all of which had over 90% of the challenged ballots posted on the MPR website.

Washington Co: Recount Coleman +12; challenges Franken +11.

Meeker Co: Recount Franken +43; challenges Coleman +41.

Steele Co: Recount Coleman +9; challenges Franken +6.

Todd Co: Recount Coleman +10; challenges Franken +7.

Lac Qui Parle Co: Recount Coleman +13; challenges Franken +11.

Mille Lacs Co: Recount Franken +16; challenges Coleman +14.

In each of these six counties, where nearly all the challenged ballots were posted online, an objective evaluation of the challenged ballots erased the differential from the recount to within 3 votes.

In a state with 87 counties, even the twos and threes per county can make a difference, if they’re all in the same direction. We still don’t know whether the partial samples of challenged ballots in the big counties such as Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, and Saint Louis are representative of ALL the challenged ballots.

But the trend in the six counties I studied is clear: most of the vote differential between the original count and the recount is due to differences in the number of challenges by each candidate, and resolving the challenges fairly (discerning the intent of the voter) tends to nearly wipe out that vote differential, meaning that the vast majority of challenges will be overturned. If none of the vote challenges are upheld, we get Coleman +120. With four counties plus 7% of the largest county (Hennepin) left to be counted, I would venture a guess that the final result will be between Coleman +100 and Coleman +150.

Steve Z on December 3, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Minnesota, the sister state of Zimbabwe.

Absolutely.

Minnesota is a pathetic, corrupt state.

drjohn on December 3, 2008 at 6:03 PM

Have you no shame? No honor?

Oh please, man. You’re accusing me of not having shame or honor? Let me remind you, I’m the one who has admitted I’ve been wrong on here. I’ll also remind you that you mocked me for doing so.

You, on the other hand, we’re just flat out wrong in another recount thread, failed to post proof that you weren’t (because you couldn’t) and just went on to attack liberals and myself. You.Are.A.Joke.

Now, because I do correct myself when I’m wrong, I do see now by going to that flicker page that the photo was taken during the recount, but that information was not posted on the page Ed linked to. Further more, it’s still incredibly weak evidence that vote fraud had occurred. No one — not any recounter, election judge or Coleman spokesperson — is making that claim aside from Ed and this guy (as far as I can tell). It’s base insinuation, and I will not apologize to Ed calling him out for using this tactic because he does it all the time.

I suppose he’ll charge vote fraud in this case too:

http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_11129187?nclick_check=1

Oh, how convenient that these ballots turn up and favor in Coleman — in Minneapolis a liberal, NPR-loving haven. Awfully fishy! (i mean, it’s very easy to do).

I mean, stuff like this most likely happens all the time in every state on election day. But most races aren’t this close, so none of it is brought to light. Human error occurs, but in most races, it doesn’t matter. The margin of victory is large enough for those errors not to matter. But in this case, it’s not and those mistakes are being caught. You can accept that reality, or be like Ed here and just insinuate voter fraud without any real evidence of misconduct to present.

So spare me your indignation… maybe back up your claims once in a while and i might start to take you seriously.

Tom_Shipley on December 3, 2008 at 6:13 PM

The good news – with only 44 precincts yet to recount, Coleman’s lead is 316 votes.

The not-so-good news, there are roughly 5,700 challenged ballots that won’t be decided upon until the 16th.

steveegg on December 3, 2008 at 11:50 PM