November 12, 2008

"Nearly every 'fix' has gone for Mr. Franken, in some cases under strange circumstances."

Do you think the Democratic Party is stealing the Minnesota senatorial election for Al Franken? Whether it is or not, if he winds up winning now, it's going to look like he did.

Here's a hypothetical, which we'll call Hypothetical A:

1. The Party knows the votes are not there and intends to steal an election during the recount.

2. As the recount progresses, the public strongly suspects the election is being stolen.

3. The Party realizes that if the candidate wins, the public will think the election was stolen.

Question: Should the Party abandon the plan to steal the election?

My first thought was: Yes, because it will hurt the Party's reputation and leave the "elected" official under a cloud. But then I thought:

Consider Hypothetical B: There is no plan to steal the election, there is a recount, and the truth is there are enough votes that the Party's candidate has won. Of course, the Party would go through with the recount, and the candidate would accept his position, and the Party and the candidate would deal with the accusations and damage to their reputation as well as they could.

Now, if we accept that Hypothetical B is true, what does that say about Hypothetical A? The 2 scenarios look the same to the general public. The evil election stealers of Hypothetical A should continue and act just like the unfairly maligned characters in Hypothetical B.

AND: A poll:

Should the Democratic Party make Al Franken win, whether the votes are there or not?
Yes, because they can and any criticism can be weathered.
Yes, for some other reason.
No, because it will hurt them politically, in the short or long term.
No, because it would be wrong.
pollcode.com free polls

79 comments:

AllenS said...

Hypothetical C: They are going to steal the election, and they could care less about what anybody thinks.

vet66 said...

Perception is everything. When it comes to litigation much is made of chain of custody. Since when would chain of custody include ballots inadvertently left in the trunk of one's personal vehicle?

In this day and age, it is unbelievable that rules at polling places allow people to transport ballots in personal automobiles, vital data is communicated over phone lines with the understanding that the information is "correct" until it needs to be corrected, and everytime the ballots are crunched into the computer a different result occurs.

Unbelievable!

SGT Ted said...

This one looks like its shaping into how they stole the Governors seat in WA state with uncounted absentee ballots "discovered" in back seats and car trunks, until the "winning" total comes in. Then the counting will stop.

Ann Althouse said...

Allens, they obviously care to some extent, which is the point of the hypothetical. This post is about doing something more than just insisting that the Democrats are stealing the election. I'm trying to examine the thought processes of election-stealing by a Party that is intent on maintaining its power over time.

SGT Ted said...

The thought process revolves around: By any means necessary, Because We know Best How to Run Your Life and Besides Bush Stole it from ALGore in 2000.

Palladian said...

Perhaps the Democrats in this case feel that they can always invoke the 2000 Presidential election, as in: "Oh, if you are going to accuse us of stealing the election, then you must concede that the 2000 Presidential election was stolen! No? Well then, how could you accuse us?! Hypocrite!"

John said...

Ann, do they obviously care?

I think they don't have to because of the reporting bias. Take hypo A, and assume they do successfully steal the election. What percentage of Americans do you believe will ever hear about it? Not even believe the wronged candidate, but even know that there was some kind of controversy? I would guess less than 10%, and 90% of those are people who already know which side they are voting for in 2012.

Informed, sort of independent people like you are very rare. And you don't matter. Sorry.

My advice for dems would be: go ahead and steal it. With this press corps, you will get away with it.

Sloanasaurus said...

The whole point of the recount-election-fraud is that tens of thousands voted for Franken illegally in the first place. There are 50,000 Somali immigrants who live in the twin cities, most of whom are not U.S. citizens. Yet the local paper reported that "interpreters were required at many polling places." In Minnesota you don't have to show proof of citizenship when you vote, you only have to show a utility bill proving that you live in the precinct. Moreover Acorn registered thousands of these illegal voters and the registration drives were encouraged by our uber-partisan Secretary of State Mark Ritiche. Usually it doesn't matter because the race is decided by tens of thousands of votes. However, when the Democrat squeaks by with a few votes, everyone knows they were elected through fraud because most of the fraudulent voters are Democrats. If everyone voted legally, Colemen would be ahead by 10,000 votes.

MadisonMan said...

It's lose-lose.

If Franken wins, you get Al Franken in the Senate. If he loses, you keep Norm Coleman in the Senate.

Any Minnesotan should be completely embarrassed by this.

Bob said...

Your hypotheticals are based on the supposition that Democrats feel shame at stealing an election. The truth is that Democrats have never felt shame about stealing elections, nor any other underhanded tactics required to win.

AllenS said...

Nonsense, Ann. They don't care at all. Who would complain, besides the Republican Party? Do you think that anybody at the Star Tribune would write anything negative? This is happening because there is nobody of importance in the media to complain that the election was stolen.

Sloanasaurus said...

It's lose-lose.

If Franken wins, you get Al Franken in the Senate. If he loses, you keep Norm Coleman in the Senate.

Any Minnesotan should be completely embarrassed by this.


Yeah. Your an idiot too. You think anyone is as embarassing as Franken? It's embarassing that we have these candidates in Minnesota. Dopes like Ventura and Franken.

Expat(ish) said...

Do they care of just appear that they care?

I'd like them to go ahead and steal the election and send Franken up. It's a win-win.

He'll be an amazing embarrassment to even the party of Barney Frank and Rangel. And maybe the resulting furor will get us some good federal identification of voter laws.

-XC

Meade said...

Wha? uh... I'm sorry, did you say something? I was still looking at that cute pair of, I mean - that cute PUG one post down.

Sloanasaurus said...

The truth is that Democrats have never felt shame about stealing elections, nor any other underhanded tactics required to win.

This is true. The Democtratic/Liberal meme is that the ends justify the means.

Simon said...

I agree with what Tully said yesterday: When all or a wildly disproportionate number of the "corrections" in the vote tally favors one candidate, when significant corrections are issuing from a handful of precincts and other precincts haven't changed their tallies in rougly comparable numbers, and when the amendments only affect one of the races on the ballot, you've got election fraud.

Sgt Ted is right on the money to the Washington comparison - if this isn't theft it looks a lot like it.

Simon said...

And of course they aren't going to abandon it, no matter what. On this vote hinges whether the Democrats have the votes to break a filibuster in most circumstances. They'd kill for that, so the lesser step of stealing an election? Absolutely.

MadisonMan said...

Your an idiot too.

(laugh)

Mark Daniels said...

In the 1960 presidential election, there was sufficient indication of cheating in Illinois for Richard Nixon to have mounted a challenge to that state's vote count. Some of his aides urged him to do so. But Nixon didn't feel that it would do the country and probably, his career any good. For one brief moment, Nixon was regarded as a statesman.

Franken is in a lose-lose situation. If he presses on with this thing and wins, he will be perceived as a thief, whether the win is legitimate or not.

By the way, the second time Lyndon Johnson tried to get into the US Senate, in the election of 1948, it initially appeared that he lost by a slim minority. Then some votes from a tiny little polling station were "discovered." The vote total wasn't big. But the margin in favor LBJ was as lopsided as a Politburo vote. Johnson won by a few hundred votes. He was given the ironic nickname, "Landslide Lyndon."

No matter whether cheating is happening or not, Franken would be better off conceding to Norm Coleman. Doing so would make him a shoo-in for statewide office in the future. Sometimes, statesmanship is good politics. This is one of those instances.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

Americans should be angry that voting in 2008 is still so rife with errors, miscounts and outright fraud.

Why in this day and age is the result still unkonwn 8 days after the election? Why should a election official be driving around with absentee ballots in his car? He forgot? And where they "found" 100 Franken votes is because they were exhausted? Bullshit.

These arrogant mofos we have running the country better come to realize the American people have a limit. We are angry at crap like this and we can get the guillotines out of mothballs.

Lastly, I don't have a dog in this fight but it just ain't fair to either one of them or the Minnesota people.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

No matter whether cheating is happening or not, Franken would be better off conceding to Norm Coleman. Doing so would make him a shoo-in for statewide office in the future. Sometimes, statesmanship is good politics. This is one of those instances.

The problem for Franken though is that he doesn't really live in Minnesota - he hasn't for 30 years. He just came back to run for Senate and barely won in the primary. Then he got lucky that this was a big Democratic year and he still ran 15 points behind Obama. This is Franken's only shot at winning any office

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I'm trying to examine the thought processes of election-stealing by a Party that is intent on maintaining its power over time."

The analysis would weigh the threat of possible repercussions later as a cost against the benefit of all-but absolute power now. The uncommonly diffuse nature of the costs - their remoteness in time, combined with their speculative nature (you're assuming that someone will pay a penalty sometime - but who, what and why?) and the high likelihood that it will be born by someone else (the national party will blame the state party, the state party will blame the candidate, and the candidate will blame the poll workers who will then be dispersed and nameless) - tilt the balance heavily towards the benefits, does it not?

SteveR said...

I have to agree that I don't think they care. Recount fraud is just a seldom used subset of crap that's been going on for a long time in a lot of places.

Usually its not widespread and one candidate has enough marigin that it is not used/needed.

Bottom line is that the lack of accountability in the election process (obvious scams like ACORN, being able to use a utility bill to vote, etc.) is a disgrace.

downtownlad said...

Hmm, if there are over 10,000 illegal voters, shouldn't it be easier for the Republicans to name at least one?

The only charges of election fraud are coming from the wingnuts and I can't find one neutral source that finds the charges to be valid.

Changes of this size are actually the norm.

The vote in Missouri is swinging towards Obama's direction, despite 100% of the votes being counted. He's now down by less than 5,000 votes after having closed the gap by a few thousand votes in the past couple of days. Yet there is almost zero chance of Obama taking Missouri. So why the swing?

Why? Because swings like this happen when you recheck votes, count absentee ballots, provisional ballots, etc.

Coleman was suing to stop the opening of 32 absentee ballots. Why? On what grounds?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'll bet the Minneapolis director of elections finds another 250 votes stuffed in her panties before the week is out.

And no, they obviously don't care. They have been busy building an infrastructure to support and encourage this.

AllenS said...

Ann said...
"Allen[S], they obviously care to some extent, which is the point of the hypothetical."

Would you please direct me to the place where you get your perception that "they obviously care" from.

You're not offering hypotheticals, you're offering excuses.

Danny said...

The reason I read Ann is because she (alone?) is capable of writing posts like these.

Henry said...

Let me continue hypothetical a):

4. The Party knows that the media will frame any stories about "stolen" votes as partisan attacks and will make no investigative efforts on its own.

5. When the Party's candidate wins, the Party will accuse its opponents of intimidation if they contest the results.

6. The incident will be largely forgotten before any other meaningful election.

See Stevenson, Coke.

downtownlad said...

In the 1960 presidential election, there was sufficient indication of cheating in Illinois for Richard Nixon to have mounted a challenge to that state's vote count. Some of his aides urged him to do so. But Nixon didn't feel that it would do the country and probably, his career any good. For one brief moment, Nixon was regarded as a statesman.

You do realize that Kennedy didn't need Illinois to win the election - don't you? He won 303 to 219 in the electoral vote.

laura said...

From Minnesota Public Radio, this morning

“…an analysis of election returns by Minnesota Public Radio shows a change of 1,000 votes in fairly typical in Minnesota. A look at elections in the last 10 years shows that the vote totals typically change by about 1,500 votes in statewide elections in the days after the polls close.

…Typically, those kind of errors don't matter. Other than a close Supreme Court primary this fall, the narrowest statewide election victory in the last 10 years was decided by more than 14,000 votes.
The MPR analysis of the returns showed margins of victory rarely change by more than one quarter of 1 percent in the weeks following the vote. By comparison, the margin between Norm Coleman and Al Franken is now less than one-one-hundreth of 1 percent.


With a second opinion, there may not be much that’s unusual, here. Certainly, a transparent recount is in order.

Darcy said...

Prof. Althouse, I want to add my thanks to the fact that you're even posting this.

I agree with John, and AllenS, and others, though. They don't care.
"Count every vote" to them really means "Find every vote necessary", and if the article on how the process so far has only significantly added to Franken's count, and by mysteriously large numbers when contrasted to other Dem candidates, well...come on.

Steal it already and send the buffoon to the Senate. I think he'll do Minnesotans proud there.

m00se said...

Downtownlad:

Thats the beauty of voter fraud - if you have voting stations in areas with lots of immigrants, say, and all they have to have to validate their status as voters are utility bills - how in heck are the poll judges going to prove they're not who they say they are, or are citizens?

Good system - no accountability.

Simon said...

Laura, I think that's a red herring. No one should dispute that final vote tallies are subject to subsidance as errors shake out. That's to be expected. The eyebrows go up when it turns out that all the revisions favor one candidate. For example, our Secretary of State's office is still trying to determine who won Indiana; the provisional tally has bobbed this way and that. But if Obama had narrowly won Indiana, as it appeared on election night, and subsequent checking and recounting of ballots in GOP-controlled counties had produced a steady stream of additional McCain votes with virtually no additional Obama votes, eyebrows would go up, would they not?

AJ Lynch said...

Laura:

MPR is saying the total vote count usually changes. That does not mean it is typical for the result to change.

m00se said...

Ann,

This is a really curious question to be asking.

Your first hypothetical basically sets the tone for the entire post - and the assumption of tampering for the Franken by the party.

Given the incredible corruption by HHH in the 60's under the auspices of the DLP, I can't say that the thought of them stealing the election is unrealistic, but I'm amused by how comfortable you are at the entire concept.

OldGrouchy said...

It also appears, from comments made by Minnesota's Sec'y of State Richie, that he's more interested in defending likely miscreants than ensuring the election law is followed. Also, the so-called system of optical scan ballots used in Minnesota was highly flawed, if the reports of voting tabulation errors are correct. Either no precinct in the state uses manually recorded ballots or only a very few do. But which statement is correct is not known, yet it should be easily determined.

The process, which was supposed to be followed, ensured that vote tallies were forwarded online via a secure line, with a manual forwarding of tally proof tapes later. There's now great confusion of what really did happen, which all points to a lack of responsible behavior on the part of Richie.

So, what should Franken do? Well, IMHO he should continue to write his porn and terrible jokes for SNL!

The possibility of votes being stolen is great in Minnesota and that's the issue before us now, for the first time in many years.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

I think the assumption that this action, if intentional, is orchestrated from the top of the state Democratic party may be misguided. If the state party was behind it, you'd expect the votes to come from at least a slightly broader distribution of polling places, and you'd expect the incoming votes to be at least a little bit split (or at least show more evidence of ticket splitting).

If the state party were at work, you'd also expect the totals to give Franken a win, rather than narrow under a big cloud of suspicion while leaving him the loser.

My guess is that a few shady local party leaders with lots to gain from a Franken win decided to do their part independently when they saw how close it was. I'm sympathetic to election workers who make a mistake and have to correct it, but there's no way finding 32 Franken votes in your car or accidentally finding 100 Obama/Franken ballots passes the smell test.

Doyle said...

Whether it is or not, if he winds up winning now, it's going to look like he did.

No. Coleman's margin was never more than 700 votes. It was down to 200 votes before the recount even started.

To non-deranged wingnuts, it will look like an extremely close election that went to a recount and the guy who was barely behind ended up winning.

Jack said...

Minnesota Public :

Shifting vote totals not unusual

Roger J. said...

If Minnesotans want to send Franken to the senate, they deserve what they get: an unfunny unqualified, unethical tax cheating asshole. But the important thing is that he is a democrat.

laura said...

MPR is saying the total vote count usually changes. That does not mean it is typical for the result to change.

Correct, but they are saying that the beginning difference is not usually close enough to change the result.

As much as folks love the drama of seeing this as Florida Redux, remember this is Minnesota and those Scandahoovians are pretty straight arrows.

Eli Blake said...

I'm a Democratic precinct committeeman (in a Republican-run state) and all I can say is that if people really knew how elections in the U.S. are run by local officials, they would be absolutely shocked and revolted. Somehow people think that the worst days of small-town and big-city politics, of the Mayor Daleys and the Tammany Halls are over with. Think again-- they're not. They're just computerized now.

In fact, elections can and have been run with more integrity than ours-- elections in other countries.

Let me quote from a post I wrote about this:

Before going into it, I'll also add my prediction to the Minnesota Senate race: I predict that in the end it will be decided by one vote. And the one voter who decides it will be a judge, in a courtroom, because regardless of the tally and the recount, I'm certain that it will end up in court, just like past very close elections have (Bush-Gore, Gregoire-Rossi, Buchanan-Jennings.) If you don't like the final count in a very tight election then get a lawyer and sue-- it's the American way.

I made a suggestion the other day in which I suggested that we do what they do in India.

They have two computers counting every vote. One locally, which also has a paper tally that can be handcounted if necessary, and the other in Delhi, where the votes are transmitted instantaneously.

They have more voters in India than the entire population of the U.S. and there is never a hitch in voting there. No corrupt local officials can fix anything because every vote is immediately backed up in Delhi, but also no central government crook could hack in because the paper trail is kept locally along with the computer that is present in the polling place. Hence there is never any argument because there would be no way to win one if you in fact had fewer votes.

I know, I know. Federalism. But do you really want to continue to propagate a system in which congressmen, senators and even Presidents can be elected by corrupt and highly partisan local officials in various states (beginning with the secretary of state, a partisan elected position itself)? In some states the party hacks running the local machinery are mostly Democrats (Washington, Minnesota) and in others they are mostly Republicans (Florida) but somehow I don't think that 'equal and opposite hyperpartisanship' is the check we really need. How is it any better when you get screwed out of your vote if someone else who belongs to the other party is simultaneously getting screwed out of their vote in another jurisdiction? Two wrongs are two wrongs, and they will never make a right.

This is the 21st century, and we could fully automate the system and have the Federal Elections Commission install a computer backup in Washington that would record every vote (at the very least every vote in races for Federal offices) as it was cast just as easily as the Indians installed theirs.

The system we have was designed when that couldn't be done and elections had to be counted locally. The expense of biting the bullet and updating it is frankly minor compared to the cost of continuing recounts, court battles and ultimately the cost to our Democracy that comes from election results that often half the population doesn't believe are real.

Another country that has central election backup is Mexico. Two years ago they had a very controversial election, but the recount was done and completed within a day, and the results were the same as the first time the votes were counted.

Why we lag behind countries like India and even Mexico in guaranteeing the integrity of our electoral process is a mystery to me.

Expat(ish) said...

The old chestnut about Nixon not contesting the election was a rare mistake by his biographer, Stephen Ambrose. Ok, maybe not rare.

But as someone has noted, it was actually pretty massive voting problems that did him, including, of course: TX.

-XC

AJ Lynch said...

Damn I agree with Eli Blake said.

Mark O said...

Ann said, "I'm trying to examine the thought processes of election-stealing by a Party that is intent on maintaining its power over time."

You seem to assume there will be a repercussion other than holding a Senate seat for six years. That single term can change everything in favor of the larcenous party.

History has shown that stealing an election is an effective method of holding power. It’s like a lot of other things we find in the criminal code: they are illegal because they work.

peter hoh said...

Don't have time to research this right now, but here it is anyway.

A difference between the vote tally as reported on election day and the certified vote is often quite large. According to a friend of mine, Coleman's tally went up 12,000 in 2002. I don't remember him complaining about that then.

Der Hahn said...

Nice sentiment, Eli. Brought tears to my eyes (/sarcasm)

There's another way to steal an election besides fudging on the count. The time honored tradition of stuffing the ballot box. And we can certainly see who (ACORN, motor voter, being able to vote based on a utility bill) thinks they can get away with that.

If we back you on getting the counting votes part right, are you going to support efforts to ensuring that only eligible voters cast ballots?

Eli Blake said...

Der Hahn:

Absolutely. But that does include absentee ballots as well-- here in Arizona we discovered several cases of 'snowbirds,' mostly wealthy people whose primary residence is either in midwestern states or in the valley (Phoenix) but who have a second home in Show Low, and who were registered in both places and who have voted in both places, in the same general election. There have also been a lot of past cases of absentee ballot abuse in a lot of states (the situation in 2000 in Seminole and Martin counties in Florida is also instructive.)

I'd be willing to look at completely revamping the electoral system (the HAVA act was woefully inadequate in this regard) because to be honest if we can't trust election results (yes, including that only eligible voters cast votes,) then we have to ask whether we even do live in a democracy at all.

Oligonicella said...

Frankly, who cares about the thought processes of thieves? Simply stop the crime, then punish the criminal.

rcocean said...

Minnesota has become a laughing stock. Cf: Ventura, Franken, and the Wellstone Funeral.

From Hubert Humphrey and Mondale to AL Franken - what a sick joke.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm glad I don't live in Minnesota. It's bad enough living in California with the illegal votes and out and out voter fraud. In the Central Valley, where there are very many Hispanics and illegal aliens, the Spanish language ballots were pre marked for Obama. No problem there....right?

Seriously, if we as a nation don't get a grip on election fraud and standardize the process from place to place, no one is ever going to take any elections seriously. Why should WE the public obey the law when our elected leaders are there by cheating and stealing?

Obama stole the election through illegal campaign contributions, caucus strong arm tactics that disenfranchised the voters where Hillary had the popular vote, ACORN (need we say more).

4. The Party realizes that if the candidate wints the public will think the election was stolen and the Party doesn't give a shit what the public thinks.

If Minnesota allows this travesty, you deserve to be led by circus clowns......Oh wait.....you will be in the form of Al Franken.

garage mahal said...

LOL.

Simon said...

Eli Blake said...
"I know, I know. Federalism."

I'm lukewarm on your proposal, but I wouldn't say federalism is a fatal obstacle here, at least in the context of Congressional elections. Our Federalism, as I've warned before, isn't a synonym for "states' rights"; rather, "[a]lthough we usually think of federalism in the modern age as protecting the state prerogatives against federal incursion, this is really but a shorthand for saying that the prerogatives of both the states and federal governments ought to be respected the one by the other...." Although states have traditionally been the primary actors in the election process, Article I § 4 permits federal regulation and requirements: "The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations...." This suggests that a strong practical federal concern with the integrity of elections might outweigh the traditional prerogatives of the states in independent organizing, as a matter of normative federalism.

Obviously this would not by itself apply to state elections, including elections for Presidential electors should a state legislature in its grace decide to hold one, see McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1 (1892). But I think that the necessary and proper clause might allow Congress to require compliance, practical considerations would strongly encourage voluntary compliance by the states, and if all else failed, Congress could simply resort to outright bribery (compliance in exchange for federal funding).

Federalism is a problem for what you're proposing, but not an outright bar. And it's a problem in a normative sense not a structural sense - Congress almost certainly has the power to do it, the question is whether it has the right.

Richard Dolan said...

"I'm trying to examine the thought processes of election-stealing by a Party that is intent on maintaining its power over time."

That would be sensible if there were a "Party" taking some action and having a "thought process" to examine. Instead, this involves isolated and disconnected actors in scattered precincts, who share a common partisan motive to want their guy to win but nothing else. Except in really bad movies, sharing a common motive does not prove much -- people share a common motive to cheat or steal, for example, but very few ever act on it.

The Powerline guys, who have been looking at this very closely and not from a pro-Dem perspective, noted that their examination of the additional votes in the Iron Mountain precincts led them to conclude that no fraud was afoot there. Whether the extra ballots in the trunk pass the smell test is a different matter. Accusations of fraud require a high standard of proof and so far I haven't seen it. That doesn't change depending on which team is being accused of fraud.

caffeine soldier said...

Hehehe! Aren't you a bit late to the "they stole the vote" party? Where have you been in 2000?
If Al Franken wins, it will be a pleasure to tell you "get over it!".
:P

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If Al Franken wins, it will be a pleasure to tell you "get over it!".

If Al Franken wins, it will be a pleasure to make popcorn and sit back and watch the show. I always liked the circus....well except for the clowns who seemed rather creepy to me. It should be entertaining.

William said...

Isn't there a risk management issue involved here? If an election is discovered to be criminally flawed, the owners of that crime will have lost more than an election. Is there anyone in MN so enamored of Franken that they would risk reputation and freedom to put him in office? If responsible people are so divorced from a sense of honor as to manufacture votes for Al Franken then we truly are in bad shape.

campy said...

The fact that these Franken votes are just coming to light proves they were hidden by Rethuglicans, in a despicable attempt to steal it for KKKoleman!!!

sonicfrog said...

It's lose-lose.

If Franken wins, you get Al Franken in the Senate. If he loses, you keep Norm Coleman in the Senate.

Any Minnesotan should be completely embarrassed by this.


We in CA had Sonny Bono, though he did turn out to be a decent legislator. OK, bad example. We DO, on the other hand, given the political world both Barbara Boxer and Nay Pelosi.

Which state had Gopher from "Love Boat"?

Simon said...

William said...
"Is there anyone in MN so enamored of Franken that they would risk reputation and freedom to put him in office?"

"[W]hen people or institutions begin to behave in a manner that seems to be entirely against their own interests, it’s [usually] because we don’t understand what their motives really are." In this instance, you're focussing on Franken but it's not about him so much as it's about the 58th Democratic vote in the United States Senate, which can be supplied by Franken. That 58th vote gives the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority on any bill approved of by any two of Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, and puts them two armlocks in the cloakroom from breaking a filibuster on any bill.

Mark Daniels said...

I neglected to mention that there was major evidence of fraud in both Illinois and Texas. Those two states then had 51 electoral votes, with 267 votes then needed to elect a president. (Washington, DC didn't yet have electoral votes.) If the votes of those two states had gone to Nixon, he would have had 270 electoral votes, three more than the required majority.

Sloanasaurus said...

My father was disenfranchsied by Daly in the 1960 vote. He lived in the northern part of Chicago, in a precinct where white males were thought to favored Nixon The scam worked this way: When he showed up to vote, the poll workers said he needed to re-register with the registration card that was sent to him a few weeks ago. Except that these registration cards were never actually sent (they were "lost" in the mail. Since my dad had not sent in the card that was never sent to him in the first place he wasn't allowed to vote.

My mother on the other hand, who voted in the same precinct was not asked for a card and mysteriously showed up on their registration rolls (they assumed white women would go Kennedy).

The Chicago Democratic machine disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters this way.

Instead of Nixon we got Kennedy, the Berlin Wall, and nearly nuclear war. Although at least Kennedy supported tax cuts.

Steve said...

What about not-so-hypothetical C: The recount is mandatory BY LAW. So let's just have the recount, observed by both sides, and see where we are.

Is there something wrong with following the law?

OldGrouchy said...

What "CS" and other wingnuts fail to understand, if they ever understood anything at all, is if votes no longer mean anything, if votes no longer are free from corruption, if votes are longer be trusted, then votes will not be needed.

Instead, the issue might evolve down to who has the bigger guns and you wingnuts are lightweight fruitcakes in that regard!

So, IMHO, your only hope for any advancement into the USA halls of power shall depend on you're not rigging the vote. IOW, stop the fraud and accept real, honest vote tallies.

It's your only hope there, Old Pard. Otherwise, guns rule!

Synova said...

I wanted a different choice than C or D.

They should avoid the *appearance* of impropriety, not in favor of their own reputation, but in favor of overall public confidence in our elections.

The fact that people believe our system works is probably more important than who wins, even if the person who wins is some crazy outlier. The wrong person in office can cause problems for a few years... destroying public confidence in the system itself could destroy us.

JAL said...

Any ballots anywhere which have been in an individual's car should not be counted. Period.

If the person has to pick up absentee ballots from the PO, representatives from more than one party should personally verify their collection and intact status.

Chain of possession.

That's a start.

For Ann to ruminate about an election which bears a considerable burden of questionable practices is typical.

blake said...

Well, leave us not forget that the Republicans were said to have delivered California to Nixon, and that his motivation for not asking for a recount in Illinois (et al) may have had something to do with that.

What's that? Stolen election? They got away with it in Washington State and most people aren't even aware there was a controversy there at all.

What negative repercussions?

It's Name That Party! time. When a Rep does something bad, it's indicative of corruption throughout the whole party. When Dems do something bad, well, it's just rogue actors, and besides it wasn't so bad, plus their hearts were in the right place.

I'm not seeing any downside to stealing this.

Shanna said...

Perhaps the Democrats in this case feel that they can always invoke the 2000 Presidential election, as in: "Oh, if you are going to accuse us of stealing the election, then you must concede that the 2000 Presidential election was stolen! No? Well then, how could you accuse us?! Hypocrite!"

The difference being that the Florida election was always a slim margin for Bush. While the MN election started out a slim but decent margin for Coleman which is being gobbled up by mysteriously discovered votes far out of the norm. In fact, the perception in Fl from many Republicans was the exact same as in this election, that Democrats were trying to cherry pick votes from Democratic counties and that any further recount would result in a stolen election.


Despite all that, the democrats perception is that the 2000 election was "stolen" and they will completely ignore this one (and Wash St.), which actually is being stolen.

Pogo said...

My wife was an election judge this election in southeastern MN.

MN rules allowed these travesties:
1) Mentally retarded adults brought in by parents or group home 'caregivers', who proceeded to fill out the ballots for the "voter", until my wife saud no. Other judges let them do this. One caregiver would bring in 5 or 6 "mentally challenged" group home residents each.

2) Busloads ...busloads... of Somali voters were brought in. MN law allowed one resident to vouch for fifteen voters ...repeatedly. Very very few of them could read. It was clear the vouchsafe was instructing them which circle to fill in, which is not allowed. My wife objected, but other judges just looked the other way.

3) Many elderly people, obviously demented as all hell, having their vote instructed to them by their children or -when arriving by the busload from the nursing home or assisted living facility- told by the nurse what brung 'em what to do. One guy kept bitching because he couldn't find John F. Kennedy on the ballot. I kid you not.

With ACORN, Obama, the Palin attacks, the MSM in-the-tankedness, and Franken's bullshit, this election is a travesty. It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaun said...

Whatever you think of the candidates involved, minor vote movement like this is common as precincts and counties establish their official vote count. To say that 100 votes this or that way constitutes some sort of fraud is absurd -- it's totally normal. Look it up.

The Franken people must really suck at voter fraud if they are coming up with all these extra ballots and illegal immigrants (good god! the dark skinned people are voting!) and they still can't get a measly 210 more votes to get them over the top.

Or maybe that's just too absurd to be true.

This is what conservatism has come to: can't claim small government, can't claim controlled spending, can't claim non-interventionist foreign policy, so the only issue you have is arguing that anyone who doesn't vote like you is obviously in favor of voter fraud?

Hmmm, no wonder you lost the white house and both houses of congress in the last 2 years.

Pogo said...

"To say that 100 votes this or that way constitutes some sort of fraud is absurd -- it's totally normal."

Yeah, totally normal to find a batch of ballots in a judges car after the election, and all of them magically for Franken. Weird how every single one of the newly found ballots is for Al, not a one for Coleman. Weird!

It's totally normal I guess, if the norm is fraud by Democrats. Yes, I would agree to that.

blake said...

Actually, Shaun, it just means they underestimated the amount of fraud necessary to win it undisputed the first time.

The electoral system is actually pretty well set up to minimize fraud. It was just built with the assumption that fraud would be rare and relatively isolated.

You know, that people would be, heh, basically honest.

MTfromCC said...

This is right wing, GOP paranoia at its worst. Let the recount proceed, as required under State law. In past elections, vote shifts between election day and the end of the canvassing period has typically been 5,000+ votes or more -- Coleman lost thousands of votes from the canvassing (which corrects clerical errors and incomplete tabulations) in 2002, and now he's complaining for losing 500? in fact, a lack of change in the vote tabulations would have been unusual and troubling based on past experience. This has been proven (see, for example, www.fivethirtyeight.com which has an extensive analysis of what is going on and why charges of cheating are a crock.

What an insult to Minnesotans that elitist republicans are perpetrating. You don't trust good, common folk to handle this honestly? I guess if the GOP loses a recount, that automatically means it's cheating, right? Pathetic.

If Franken wins, he will take the seat, and he should, because that's how the rule of law works in MN. The candidates don't decide, the pundits don't decide, and conservative talk show hosts don't decide. An open, public and transparent hand recount mandated by state law applies and will decide who won. A voter intent law establishes a uniform standard -- discernable intent. You right wingers and Franken haters may not like it, but that's the law the citizens of MN passed, and that's what should decide this election.

If the GOP can prove fraudulent votes were cast, gp ahead and do it. But anecdotal crap spewed by Rush Limbaugh, Shaun Hannity and other wingnut radio and TV personalities carries no weight among intelligent people. And wild unsubstantiated charges and rumors spread by anonymous sources in the Coleman campaign, who were pushing Franken for a concession when Coleman led by less than 0.1% of the vote, and who have shifted to disturbing paranoid delusional lies now that the lead is evaporating, don't cut it either.

Bottom line. The rule of law mandates a hand recount, and MN has a voter intent law. That's the rule of law and you should all shut the eff up and let the process take its course without undue hysteria or interference. Let the chips fall where they may. If the recount results in Franken winning, get over it. Or forfeit the right to ever again use the phrase "the rule of law."

Pogo said...

"The rule of law mandates a hand recount"

How does a hand recount of fake ballots "found in the back of may car and every single one of the votes magically magically for Franken!!1!--ooopsy!" help matters any?

"We have counted all the ballots that 'fell off of the back of a truck' and they are amazingly exactly the right number for Franken to win after it was clear he hadn't done so the usual way."

Bullshit.

The official imprimatur on a sham does not and should not be viewed as 'the rule of law', but rather as the perversion of law.

Jim C. said...

"I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how." --Stalin.

I R A Darth Aggie said...

To say that 100 votes this or that way constitutes some sort of fraud is absurd -- it's totally normal. Look it up.

That maybe so. But I can do math. The probability of all 100 votes going the same way is slim to non-existant.