November 24, 2008

"Sloppy Dems may spell Franken advantage."

Politico says:
While the conventional wisdom is that these recounted ballots should break the same way as the broader election results, Republicans fret that sloppy Democratic voters might mean Franken votes emerging as the recount continues.

“Democrats are [thought to be] more creative, free-spirited, so the idea is they’re more likely to make a mistake that the optical scan won’t pick up,” explains [election law lawyer Robert] Hentges. “But when they recount the hard copy, those votes will be counted for Franken. If you talk to Republicans, they say it will be Franken’s advantage, because Democrats are stupid and will screw up ballots more often.”
And FiveThirtyEight does the math with characteristic bravado: "Projection: Franken to Win Recount by 27 Votes."

One thing is for sure: If Franken wins, he will win ugly.

64 comments:

peter hoh said...

And if Coleman wins, he will win almost ugly. It's really a lose-lose situation for Minnesota. Makes me look fondly at Georgia, where voters get a runoff if no candidate achieves at least 50% of the vote.

My preference: have "None of the Above" on the ballot and force the parties to nominate a new slate of candidates.

John Althouse Cohen said...

One thing is for sure: If Franken wins, he will win ugly.

Why not if Coleman wins too?

garage mahal said...

Why not if Coleman wins too?

Because, he's not a Democrat.

Ann Althouse said...

Ahem.

peter hoh said...

You can play along at home.

10ksnooker said...

Count until finally enough ballots are smuggled in to elect the Democrat, and then stop.

I think it will be good that a dip**** like Franken is in the Senate. Think of the good times to be had with that idiot to kick around.

peter hoh said...

Coleman is no natural beauty, whatever this yearbook photo sugggests.

FWIW, I've never seen a photo of his wife, Laurie, in which she looks at ease.

mcg said...

Recount results by county

Franken's not going to win on the recount alone. He's going to have to rely on the 2000 challenged ballots. Coleman has challenged 1005; Franken 977.

Meade said...

"Ahem"

lol

Henry said...

It struck me, when Franken votes were being found in car trunks, that the, uh, "sloppiness" of Democratic voters and election officials will always cause recounts to tip left. It should be a rule of thumb.

Look at this way. First time voters and inexperienced election officials are most likely to make mistakes. Democrats seek to empower marginalized voters that fit the first profile. They are strong in poor urban districts where election officials may be more transitory and thus fit the second profile.

To segue into analogy, I once worked on a stochastic quality control project. The term used by the client for "mistake" was "discrepancy." Let no one every think that the factory made "mistakes."

The Democratic Party is the party of "discrepancies." And proud of it, I hope.

downtownlad said...

Seems like they are just counting the ballots. Why are some people afraid of having all ballots counted?

garage mahal said...

I thought Republicans hated pot smoking draft card burning rabid anti-war protesters that hung out with radicals and took over campus buildings. Coleman in this case.

L. E. Lee said...

The MN Republican governor has said the ballots "being found in car trunks" is not true. It seems if you repeat a lie often enough...

How about just count all of the ballots and whoever has the most votes is declared the winner?

Finally, didn't Republicans use to bemoan the "culture of victimhood"? It seems some conservatives have become the biggest practitioners of the "victim card".

Henry said...

L.E.Lee wrote: The MN Republican governor has said the ballots "being found in car trunks" is not true.

Oh cripes, I was going to use hyperbole and write something like "votes found in cat litter boxes" or "votes tabulated in soduku squares" but I was trying to stay factual.

Sorry, I didn't know the trunk vote story had been disproved. But if you read my hypothesis you will see that I agree with election lawyer Robert Hentges. Sloppy creativity is a better rationale for Franken's after-the-polls vote-getting than criminality.

peter hoh said...

Right now, the process seems pretty fair and transparent. Both campaigns have people watching over the recount process. Some of them appear to be eager to challenge ballots, and there may be some tit-for-tat challenges that will look ridiculous upon closer scrutiny.

My guess is that it will come down to how people interpret voter intent on a few hundred ballots, of which no more than 100 will be ambiguous.

L. E. Lee said...

I agree with Peter Hoh. My guess is that Franken will come up short.

DADvocate said...

Whatever the outcome, for Franken, it's just another bad joke in a career built on mediocrity and bad jokes. Would he have done this well if he wasn't funny looking?

mcg said...

Drama in Breckenridge

mcg said...

Honestly, were it not that Al Franken was one of the two contestants I wouldn't really give a rat's ass how this turns out. I mean, when the vote is this close, it just doesn't matter either way. Yeah, yeah, I know, we really do need to make sure the true vote winner is put in office, and I'm sure either candidate will accept a victory of even one vote. But for goodness' sake, at this point a bad batch of baked beans at a BBQ joint the night before the election could have swayed this thing.

Henry said...

Peter Hoh, thanks for your "play along at home" link. Looks like a whole lot of sloppiness and creativity going on.

I find it curious that the law rejects ballots "marked by distinguishing characteristics" but does allow election officials to interpret voter intent. One harsh law and one soft law.

peter hoh said...

Henry, yes, the "marked ballot" law does seem harsh. One could conceivably mark one's ballot legally by writing in a unique name for one of the spots. One of my neighbors writes in the family pets for uncontested races.

Host with the Most said...

Because Democrats steal elections.

Loretta Sanchez stole the election from Bob Dornan with illegal immigrant votes.

The governor of Washington state was placed in with fraudulent votes.

It's always Dems and here's why-

the honesty bar is lower for them.

peter hoh said...

mcg, that's not much of a controversy. Sure, Vertin should not have done what she did, but everything she did in her non-partisan role was observed by a Coleman supporter who didn't object to her work.

Host with the Most said...

And in the case of Loretta Sanchez, the Republican Congress at the time declined to finish it's investigation.

Declaring a winner without a full investigation does not mean the winner won far and square. It just means they are the smelly, always suspect winner.

And that's always fine for Democrats.

garage mahal said...

Laws and ethics are for Democrats.

Host with the Most said...

And speaking of Loretta Sanchez, her sister Linda, 39 years old and a California Congressional Representative like her sister, just announced she is pregnant, and is not yet married.

The Latina out-of-wedlock birthrate is heading towards twice the national average.

The number one predictor of future poverty for young girls is getting pregnant at a young age out of wedlock.

That Linda is a GREAT role model!

peter hoh said...

Here's another look at some challenged ballots.

Full disclosure: the Uptake is a progressive new media organization. The Coleman campaign ought to ber putting videos like this on YouTube.

OldGrouchy said...

Law and ethics? Democrats never heard of them! Besides, they'll sue if those concepts are mentioned!

peter hoh said...

Old Grouchy and Host, is random whining about Democrats all you can bring to this discussion?

peter hoh said...

This is what the recount process looks like.

OldGrouchy said...

However, look at the positive results. All you stinking Socialist Leftists are going bonkers! Hip, hip, hooray!

BillHall said...

"Dems are stupid"...and of course these are the same Repubs that claim Dems to be elitist. Go figure.

peter hoh said...

Another boring recount video.

John Stodder said...

Why can't we accept that some elections end, statistically speaking, in a tie?

It's not just a matter of "counting the votes." The error rate built into the system means the "count-the-votes" outcome of a very close election will be the arbitrary result of whichever way the errors break.

After the recount, if the vote gap is within 50 percent plus one of the legitimately challenged votes, I would argue the fairest next step is a coin flip.

(We'd need to come up with a way to bar phony vote challenges, because we don't want there to be any incentive to challenge votes just to remove them from the total. Maybe a third party has to agree that a challenge has a reasonable chance of succeeding.)

I would not want this election decided on the subjective reading of challenged ballots. With the outcome looming clearly as hanging on the last few challenges, there will be an irresistible subconscious bias that will affect those decisions. And no matter which way it goes, the other side will feel cheated.

Florida shows what will happen. Bush and Gore essentially tied. Only one of them could win. The loser did not accept, spiritually and ethically, that they had lost, and the effect was to disunify the country and give birth to Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Derangement syndromes are not limited to one party or philosophy. If Franken wins, he will be the most loathed Democrat in the nation, and his name alone -- in tandem with ACORN, which is seen as having mailed in a bunch of phony ballots, a charge I'm dubious about -- will raise hundreds of millions for the GOP. Coleman doesn't have the same hate-ability, but if he wins, his victory will also be presumed to have been stolen, and the dirty Republicans will be blamed.

Coin flip. No way to cheat a coin flip. The loser would be sad, but would have to accept his loss as a fair outcome.

Host with the Most said...

I don't claim that Dems are stupid.

Just more immoral than Republicans.

Generally speaking, of course.


PS to Bill Hall: you share a anme with many others of course, but one is the Great Dr. William Hall of Chapman University, generally considered to be one the world's great choral conductors.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I hope Franken does win. The entertainment value of that moron running around the Senate would be worth it.

Pogo said...

In Olmsted County, Somali people are brought in by the busload. One person "vouches" for 15 people, and then "helps" each one vote.

Are they actually citizens? Who knows!

Are they actually MN residents? Who knows!

* Section 8 housing + welfare = Democrat

* Noncitizen + "vouched for" = Democrat

Hoosier Daddy said...

Coin flip. No way to cheat a coin flip. The loser would be sad, but would have to accept his loss as a fair outcome.

I would prefer pistols at dawn.

Host with the Most said...

I would prefer pistols at dawn.

Now THAT would yield representation we can believe in!

Robert Cook said...

I hope the rightful winner can be clearly determined by the recount, whomever (whoever?) it may be, but my own desire is that Al Franken is the rightful winner. He's smart, funny, he cares about this country, and he's a hero for sticking it to odious ignoramuses and hate-mongers like O'Reilly and Limbaugh.

Host with the Most said...

He's smart, funny, he cares about this country, and he's a hero for sticking it to odious ignoramuses and hate-mongers like O'Reilly and Limbaugh.

You forgot to add "Along with being a pornographer and tax liar".

And, if you were one of those who liked to play the "does McCain have the temperament to . . ." then you'll love this.

Literally cursing people he disagrees with in a public forum.

Oh yea, that's good for America

peter hoh said...

John Stodder, this video shows an election official ruling on some frivolous challenges. It's the same video to which I linked at 12:02.

The process is transparent.

As best I understand this, the challenged ballots are not uncounted. Rather, they go on to the state canvassing board which will rule on each one of them.

I suppose that if all unchallenged ballots are counted, and one candidate leads by more than the number of challenged ballots, then there's no need to go through the challenged ballots. This is not likely to happen in this case.

Pogo, I am certain that the names of voters registered on election day are available, and should someone wish to, the eligibility status of those voters can be addressed.

The charges that most concern me are those related to the interpreters in Minneapolis who are alleged to have told Somalis that if they wanted to vote for Obama, they had to vote for Franken as well.

My conservative neighbor blogger argues that the GOP has written off St. Paul and Minneapolis. He and I agree that's not good for democracy. I hope they make a better effort. It's not as though a Republican can't appeal to minority voters. Aaron Schock proves otherwise.

Robert Cook said...

How is Franken a "pornographer" or a "tax liar?" I have not heard of either allegation.

(And if he is a pornographer, which I doubt, so what? Despite our puritanical discomfort with sex and our self-flattering lies about our own virtue, pornography is big business in this country. The millions (billions?) spent on porn each year is not just coming from a few thousand big-city reprobates.)

Robert Cook said...

I think there were reasons more compelling than McCain's temperament to consider him unfit to be President, but if you're concerned about such public outbursts, how do you feel about Cheney's very public "Fuck you!" to a member of Congress in the Congress?

What about your own intemperate outbursts on this forum?

Robert Cook said...

Actually, I just watched the Franken clip you linked to, and I've gotta say, "Right on, Al!"

This makes me admire him more.

GeorgeH said...

I'm pulling for Franken.

He's failed as a
standup comic,
TV comic,
comic actor,
comic author,
and comic radio host.

The only hope left is the unintended comedy of his performance in the senate.

Host with the Most said...

Al Franken Jokes about rape and child abuse

So this is how far we have "progressed"? Someone of this character in the United States Senate?

We got people commenting here that want people with a character like Al Franken to sit in the US Senate?

If the same charges were true about any Republican candidate, do you believe that the Democrats would go, "oh, that's no big thing"?

Sure you do. Which brings us full circle to the original point abotu stealing elections.

Democrats aren't stupid.

Just more immoral.

Host with the Most said...

What about your own intemperate outbursts on this forum?

Good thing I determined long ago to never run for public office. Franken should have the backbone to do the same.


This makes me admire him more.

When Franken curses out Brit Hume - a decent human being even according to most Democrats, when he throws chairs at people he disagrees with, et al, then I 'm ashamed to have a person like of any party in the US Senate.

Perhaps you'd love living in one of the Eastern European countries, Robert, where their congresses breakout into physical fights.

How low do you want the bar to be for Congress? Sex on C-Span? In seesion or only out?

peter hoh said...

Host, if it helps you, I'm certain that if Franken had done what Mark Foley was accused of, he wouldn't have been nominated.

I am on record as saying that Minnesota Democrats need to be spanked re. the Franken nomination. I am hoping that it will nudge them toward reworking their process for endorsing and nominating candidates. The current system gives too much power to the fringe elements in the party.

Robert Cook said...

"He's failed as a
standup comic,
TV comic,
comic actor,
comic author,
and comic radio host.


Criticize Franken all you like, but be factual. He was never really, as far as I know, a standup comic, (although I guess he latterly did do standup on several USO tours abroad entertaining the troops). He sustained a lengthy tenure on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE as a writer and sketch performer; he has written several best-selling books; his show on AIR AMERICA was popular, on a radio network that was not so much. He had a tv series that flopped, (as have so many others who previously or subsequently enjoyed great successes on series tv).

On balance, a 30 year career as a humorist in the public eye hardly qualifies as "failed." If you don't find him funny, fair enough; that also does not define him as "failed."

Host with the Most said...

If you don't find him funny, fair enough; that also does not define him as "failed."

Which obviously for Robert is completely qualification enough to be considered for the United States Senate, everything else be damned.

Original Mike said...

Franken cursed out Brit Hume? Whatever for?

Robert Cook said...

"Which obviously for Robert is completely qualification enough to be considered for the United States Senate, everything else be damned."

Well, no. First, it's up to the voters of Minneapolis, a state I've never visited, to affirm through their votes whether they consider Franken qualified; even if, in the end, he loses, enough voters did consider him qualified to produce the whisper-thin margin of difference that has brought about the current recount.

Also, through the knowledge of public affairs he's demonstrated in his recent books and radio show, as well as his being a cum laude Harvard grad, I'd say he's cerified himself as being at least as qualified for public office as most of the other people we've elected to public office in this country, and certainly more so than some recent VP candidates and two term Presidents.

Pogo said...

"First, it's up to the voters of Minneapolis, a state I've never visited"

Ha ha.

I live in the state of Rochester, south of the state of Mpls, which is west of the state of St Paul.

I think you have misstated.

X said...

Robert or should I call you Al, you sound like Gleen Grenwald when he was being Ellers Wilson Ellison pumping up Grenwald's resume around the web.

Robert Cook said...

Ur, yes, thank you. I'm abashed.

The great state of Minnesota!

Robert Cook said...

X, thank you; Greenwald is an estimable political commentator and I take it as a compliment to be compared to him, no matter that it is an unwarranted comparison.

I don't mean to be seen as Franken's champion here, as I certainly don't think he's the greatest writer or comic or candidate for public office that was ever born. However, if criticisms of him are to be made, they should be factual and substantive, not baseless and trivial ad hominems, (i.e., "failed comedian," "pornographer," "imbecile," etc.)

This is what seems to account for too much public discourse these days, a direct result, I feel, of our being a post-literate, advertising-saturated video-culture where we remember little beyond the most recent commercials and tv soundbites we've heard.

Host with the Most said...

Robert,

Can you read?

The pornographer charge was proven above..

Seems you are guilty of the dissembling you accuse others of.

Robert Cook said...

I saw some reference to a "pornographic" column or article Franken wrote for Playboy Magazine. Is that what you're referring to? What does that mean, though? What was the content of the column?

Just doing a quick google search, it sounds to me like Franken was writing an article intended to be humorous, as he is, or was, a professional humorist. This is not to say his article was successfully humorous--I never saw it for one, and humor, like pornography, is in the eye of the beholder--but it does not sound like one could rightly liken Franken to Al Goldstein of SCREW Magazine, or Larry Flynt of HUSTLER, or even Hugh Hefner of PLAYBOY, much less the legions of nameless producers of porn out there in the world. In fact, if this article is the sum total of Franken's output of "porn," I think it wildly overstates the case to say he is a "pornographer."

Is there more that I'm missing?

Robert Cook said...

By the way, I'm not accusing anyone of dissembling, but of lodging substanceless insults at Franken. These do not count, really, as criticisms of him or of his qualifications to serve in public office.

Cedarford said...

garage mahal said...
I thought Republicans hated pot smoking draft card burning rabid anti-war protesters that hung out with radicals and took over campus buildings. Coleman in this case.


The difference is Coleman grew up.

Franken didn't.

Host with the Most said...

It's one thing to be an asshole and grow up and live a demonstrably different life.

It's another to stay an asshole and then fuck up the hopes of well-meaning but a bit dim people who elected you.

(That's Franken voters for you "a bit dim" bulbs)

knowitall said...

The left-wing illuminati are very sloppy, and they are the reason Franken won't get that seat.

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