Minnesota Majority spokesman Dan McGrath appeared on the Twin Cities Fox affiliate last night to explain their latest report on felon voting in Minnesota, and to expand on their demand for law enforcement action. According to their meticulous research of voting and conviction records, as many as 1,000 felons may have voted in the 2008 election in Minnesota. That would have been more than enough to swing the US Senate election to Al Franken, who prevailed by just over 300 votes in a protracted recount and election challenge over Norm Coleman. Noting that the data won’t have any impact on the 2008 results, McGrath wants action to ensure the integrity of the upcoming November election, but doesn’t appear to be getting much cooperation:
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to subtract felon voters once the ballots have been cast. That’s why federal law requires states to regularly audit and cleanse their voting rolls to remove the dead and ineligible, in order to protect the value of eligible votes. The Department of Justice has become disinterested in enforcing this part of the Motor Voter Act, a fact pointed out specific to Minnesota by J. Christian Adams last week on a local talk-radio show. Ramsey County, which includes the capital city of St. Paul, has researched a few of the cases but as noted by Fox 9 reporter Jeff Passolt, doesn’t appear to consider it a priority.
Even if the Minnesota Majority report is entirely correct — and it appears very solid — it wouldn’t provide a basis of overturning Franken’s election. McGrath is right in that the report should be considered in the context of the future instead of the past, and all sides should be demanding enforcement of voter eligibility in order to ensure clean elections. To the extent that enthusiasm lacks, it’s worth asking how much value some people put in clean elections, both inside and outside of Minnesota.