Minnesota Recount: Coleman conference call

posted at 10:55 am on February 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Norm Coleman joined the conference call himself today, calling yesterday’s decision by the election contest panel “a great day” for Minnesota voters.  Coleman reminded people that he led on Election Night, before the recount, and he thinks that the decision will restore the correct result of the election.  Valid ballots should be counted, and that will erase Al Franken’s “artificial” lead.

Coleman expressed confidence in this panel, saying that the unanimous decision to apply statewide standards shows that they are focused on the law and what’s best for voters.  He expects as many as 100 Franken votes to get “washed away” when the panel takes up the issue of double-counted votes.  Between the 4800 absentee ballots that got counted and these invalid votes, Coleman expects to restore his election night lead.

Ben Ginsberg, Team Coleman’s counsel, says that they got “the entire universe” of wrongly rejected absentee ballots added back into the mix.

Questions:

  • Janet Beihoffer, SCSU Scholars: What type of districts are these ballots from? — We didn’t do a lot of checking on that, but the 953 ballots previously entered came from primarily Franken districts, so they assume these come from Republican-leaning districts that the previous recount ignored.
  • Me: Equal Protection Clause problems? — Ginsberg says there are some problems, but that the election contest panel specifically addressed this with their decision.  There will still be some claims on appeal, most likely, but Minnesota has very specific rules on absentee ballots that work with the EPC.  One mistake on one ballot should not validate all of the rejected ballots.  Florida, in contrast, had varying standards by county, which the Supreme Court rejected in Bush v Gore.
  • Me again: Have you heard from Reid after he bragged that he wouldn’t seat you? — “Are you sure he wasn’t talking about Roland Burris? … Harry Reid will not block me from being the Senator from Minnesota if the voters put me there.”
  • Amanda Carpenter, Townhall:  Have Franken’s tax problems been resolved? — No one really knows, because the media quit asking about them.  Coleman doesn’t think they’ve been resolved, but again, no one really knows for sure.
  • Philip Klein, Spectator:  Is this contest the end of the line, and please explain the duplicate ballot issue — Coleman says all he wants is a fair counting of the votes.  That should decide this election, not just exhausting legal remedies.  If we get a fair count and Franken wins, then he’ll abide by that result.  The duplicate issue is still forming at the election contest, so they’re not ready to analyze that quite yet.
  • Soren Dayton, Next Right: What’s the end game if Coleman wins?  Will the Senate seat you, or is there a possibility for a re-vote? — They don’t want to get into hypotheticals.  The tradition is that a signed certificate means the Senator gets seated.  Coleman expects the contest to result in a certified winner.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Guess there’s still some hope for the Stuck on Stupid State.

Percy_Peabody on February 4, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Hope he pulls it out…God do I hates me a Franken-clown.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Cool. I’m sure Franken will get the votes of the Harlem Globetrotters’ 1977 team, and the names from the cast of Roots – via ACORN.

marklmail on February 4, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Don’t forget who was counting those votes a dem Soros controlled official who is running the recount

grapeknutz on February 4, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Guess there’s still some hope for the Stuck on Stupid State.

Percy_Peabody on February 4, 2009 at 10:58 AM

No there isn’t. It is too far gone, and the rest of the North and West is on it’s heels. It makes me sick.

saiga on February 4, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Should have asked about Pawlenty. He is MIA in this situation and stood by as there was an election being stolen from Coleman. It’s really disgraceful.

jencab on February 4, 2009 at 11:07 AM

jencab on February 4, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Good point. I wonder what his deal is all about?

saiga on February 4, 2009 at 11:08 AM

They don’t want to get into hypotheticals. The tradition is that a signed certificate means the Senator gets seated. Coleman expects the contest to result in a certified winner.

Not even that if you are black racist from Illinois who was picked by a corrupt governor to fill the filthy bastard’s seat. Burris was seated without a signed certificate.

The really sad thing here is that it is February 4th and the outcome of an election three months ago is still far from being resolved. How pathetic is that?

highhopes on February 4, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Hope he pulls it out…God do I hates me a Franken-clown.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 11:04 AM

I’m still hoping against hope that the lizard people come from behind.

highhopes on February 4, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Dateline 2050 ——Senate Republican Norm Coleman was rolled into his seat, (by wheelchair), today after a four-decade fight for the Minnesota seat was decided by newly appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Rod Blagojevich. Coleman’s foe in the disputed election, Al Franken was honored at his gravesite by his longtime friends. All five preferred to have no comment on the landmark decision.

Rovin on February 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Should have asked about Pawlenty. He is MIA in this situation and stood by as there was an election being stolen from Coleman. It’s really disgraceful.

jencab on February 4, 2009 at 11:07 AM

What would you have had Pawlenty do? He doesn’t have a constitutional role to play in the recount and if he’d inserted himself into the debate in a public way, it would have hurt Coleman. Until we reached this stage, much of the battle has been about public relations, which is why Franken has been largely invisible and has let his lawyers do all the talking.

Coleman got outmaneuvered in the recount phase, but Team Franken derived too much benefit from the votes that were counted in that phase, so it was a pretty easy argument for Coleman to get the additional votes considered now that it’s before the court. We’ll be closer to the truth soon. It’s still an uphill battle, but Norm has a shot now.

Mr. D on February 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Go Norm!

ErinF on February 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Read the headlines on Drudge….Coleman charged with tax evasion
Naw, I am just kidding, Coleman would have been seated long ago if he had any tax problems.

right2bright on February 4, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Someone should tell Franken’s legal team that Al has a tendency to stiff people who work for him, especially after any of his wet dreams go belly-up.

fogw on February 4, 2009 at 11:24 AM

And to ask the question once again, has Franken paid those back taxes yet? With penalties? Or is he waiting for the final count to cut his check?

Knucklehead on February 4, 2009 at 11:24 AM

In other news…
Audio: Al Gore Tells Kids Not To Listen To Their Parents About Global Warming

markedmanner on February 4, 2009 at 11:04 AM

At the risk of hijiacking the thread-I actually allude to this in my classroom. But I mention that kids need to form their own INFORMED (educated) opinions on subjects & not just base their opinions, which they may have to vote on or take action on, just based on what people say, including their parents.
I try & teach these kids critical thinking skills when it comes to disseminating & analyzing the news that comes at them.
So while Al spews garbage, he does have a point. But he uses the point for kids to throw all of their elder’s wisdom down the toilet & not to take it in and analyze it.

I do hope Coleman can get this straightened out through legal means. I have new hope for MN now.
I hope it’s not going to go back to the circus it was.

Badger40 on February 4, 2009 at 11:29 AM

From Nate Silver, Coleman has no chance.

Consider the absentee ballots flagged by Coleman for being “wrongly rejected” that were actually considered by the counties earlier this month. Of about 150 absentee ballots that, having already been rejected twice by the counties (once on Election Night and then again pursuant to a court order), were triple-checked by the counties for potentially being wrongly rejected, only 1 was determined by county officials to be a valid ballot. At that rate of success, Coleman’s 4,800 ballots would turn into a grand total of … 32 that are actually deemed to have been rejected improperly. And those ballots were reviewed at a stage when the Coleman campaign wanted only about 650 ballots to be considered. Their success rate, you would figure, will be even lower with a now much larger number of ballots under consideration.

The Coleman campaign, from what best I can tell, appears to be asking for a review of essentially every absentee ballot that they believe is more likely to contain a Coleman vote than a Franken vote. But these ballots have already been evaluated once, twice, and in some cases three times, and at each stage they have been determined to have been rejected properly. As we learned during the recount phase of the process, when the Coleman campaign challenged more ballots than Franken but had fewer successful challenges, it’s not the denominator that counts but the numerator, and I would guess that Franken has about has many successes from his list of 770 as Coleman does from his 4,800.

And then this morning
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/02/absentee-ballots-unlikely-to-save.html

UPDATE: The Court has also ruled, apparently, that the 4,800 absentee ballots Coleman wants to have counted will be held to a much higher burden of proof. Essentially, those ballots will be presumed to be guilty until proven innocent, and will have to be advocated for one at a time by the Coleman campaign, rather than being opened summarily and counted in bulk. This will make Coleman’s rate of success very, very, very low, as opposed to merely very, very low. As Talking Points Memo notes, however, this process could take a very long time to complete and could continue to the delay the seating of a Senator Franken — which may be Coleman’s principal objective in the first place.

DeathToMediaHacks on February 4, 2009 at 11:31 AM

The really sad thing here is that it is February 4th and the outcome of an election three months ago is still far from being resolved. How pathetic is that?

highhopes on February 4, 2009 at 11:10 AM

How true!

Sorry to say this over and over, but it bears repeating: I don’t care if you are Franken or Coleman, Gore or Bush — You shouldn’t be able to win a statewide election by a few hundred votes. That kind of tally is within the margin of error, and there should be a runoff, like in Georgia. Elections should never be decided in court.

factoid on February 4, 2009 at 11:35 AM

From Nate Silver, Coleman has no chance.

DeathToMediaHacks on February 4, 2009 at 11:31 AM

At what, batting over .300 this year?

From Wikipedia:

“In November 2007 Silver began publishing a diary under the pseudonym “Poblano” on the progressive political blog Daily Kos.”

Nice try Hack.

fogw on February 4, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Just because Nate Silver IS a progressive doesn’t mean his statistical analysis was wrong. He was 100% right about the election about the primary…on both sides. He followed the Minnesota recount in depth and because the public had access to images of the ballots..correctly predicted that Franken would win. What is your threshold for accepting a simple mathematic equation, the person inputing the data into the statistical model has to be a conservative? Wierd.

DeathToMediaHacks on February 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM

What is your threshold for accepting a simple mathematic equation, the person inputing the data into the statistical model has to be a conservative?

DeathToMediaHacks on February 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM

My magic eight ball isn’t always right. Neither is Nate Silver.

And I couldn’t find anywhere in Silver’s article where he said Coleman has no chance. Only that his statistics demonstrate the odds are heavily against Coleman.

If this ever draws to a conclusion, we’ll find out if Silver’s a mathematical genius or just another progressive cheering for his side.

fogw on February 4, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Rise Up Lizard People LOL!

Dr Evil on February 4, 2009 at 12:06 PM

C’mon. Democrats always win the recount.

I’m pretty sure that’s in the Bible somewhere.

wccawa on February 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM

I hate to repeat it, but why did Frankenstein get so close to winning? Were the people of Minnesota embracing Change so fervently that they didn’t take a close look at the monster?

Christine on February 4, 2009 at 12:22 PM

I think what Mr Silver is missing is those 4,800 ballots never were looked at, they were left in their boxes by Republican leaning counties. They followed the law which said they could not be counted. Democratic leaning counties in an effort to help Fraken, counted theirs. So, equal protection says to count the ballots that were like others that were let in.

So I think he is a little delusional.

WoosterOh on February 4, 2009 at 12:25 PM

I hate to repeat it, but why did Frankenstein get so close to winning? Were the people of Minnesota embracing Change so fervently that they didn’t take a close look at the monster?

Christine on February 4, 2009 at 12:22 PM

This is the state that spawned Paul Wellstone (an out and out socialist) and put Jesse Ventura into the Governor’s Office. It’s not so hard to figure out why somebody like Franken might win despite his only qualification for being seated is his tax evasion problems.

highhopes on February 4, 2009 at 12:30 PM

I think what Mr Silver is missing is those 4,800 ballots never were looked at, they were left in their boxes by Republican leaning counties.

Well they’ve been checked, they were just *rejected* for being incomplete/some error. What he wants is to get them reincluded and he doesn’t really know the outcome. The point is that in order to get them reincluded he has to argue for each and every ballot that it was wrongly excluded.

DeathToMediaHacks on February 4, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Whining loser.

getalife on February 4, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Well they’ve been checked, they were just *rejected* for being incomplete/some error.

Wait a minute…I thought progressives wanted ALL ballots counted…otherwise voters would be disenfranchised, you know ‘selected not elected!’. Oh, that’s right, it’s only when it benefits your candidate..sorry, forgot that part.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Whining loser.

getalife on February 4, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Yes, we know who you are.

fogw on February 4, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Now, I dont know how it all turned out, but here is what I am referring to when I talk about the absentee ballots not being counted in republican counties.

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/12/minnesota-recount-canvassing-board-recommends-absentee-ballot-review/

Earlier this week, more than half the state’s counties and larger cities began to separate out wrongly rejected absentee ballots from those legitimately turned back under state law. Based on the numbers tallied so far by 49 counties and cities, officials estimated that there may be as many as 1,600 absentee ballots that should have been counted but were mistakenly excluded.

The board decision on the Minneapolis ballots means that Franken trails Republican Sen. Norm Coleman by 192 votes. Had the board accepted Coleman’s argument that only the ballots that were recounted be accepted, his lead would be 238 votes.

Now, it does not say they were Republican leaning counties that did not make the 5th pile, but that is what happened. Ritchie saw a need to find votes for Franken, devised this scheme, the Dem counties went along, the republican counties did not, in the end, that allowed the Dem leaning counties to add dem leaning absentee votes to the recount.

WoosterOh on February 4, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Bad link, it is

http://www.startribune.com/politics/36043514.html

WoosterOh on February 4, 2009 at 12:43 PM

My report on the call is posted here.

I thought Sen. Coleman sounded confident that he’d win. Yesterday’s ruling certainly makes that more possible.

LFRGary on February 4, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Franken needs to go to Seattle and look around – there’s surely enough ‘lost’ votes there to put him over the top.

Go Sonics!

savvydude on February 4, 2009 at 1:37 PM

By the time they get this all sorted out, the two year term will be just about over. Serves them right, any district that would nearly elect Franken probably shouldn’t have a vote in Congress. DC deserves one far more, give them their seat.

tmq on February 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Christine
I can’t explain why MN does what it does all the time except that historically this state has ALWAYS voted progressive or liberal, to it’s detriment always. Any candidate who ran as a republican, even today, is , at best a RINO, at worst a fraud. Those of us who are staunch conservatives have always been in the minority. That said, it gives no reason to ever give up, we’ll keep fighting. But, as I’ve said before here…. I’m getting just a little bit sick of comments that want those of us, who fight harder than the commenters do, that live here in MN to either be thrown out of the Union ( try it, Percy and others, you’ll get your ass kicked) or whatever. We’re few , we’re proud and some of us are actually Marines…. we’ll keep up the fight. Go look in the mirror of your own states. Not one of you, Percy and others, has anything to brag about. Clean up your litter box of a state before you rip mine.

MNDavenotPC on February 4, 2009 at 4:34 PM

I really should be more fired up about this Circus of an election if for no other reason than utterly despising Franken, as I live in MN; but somehow I just can’t seem to make myself care.

Franken is a World Class Putz.

Norm is a hopeless, hapless RINO most of the time.

The Proletariat in the Socialist Utopia of MN gets what it deserves either way.

Very sad…..

Maybe the kind folks here can help snap me out of this malaise.

paragon27x on February 5, 2009 at 12:05 AM