Al Franken, trying to litigate his way into the United States Senate, started another lawsuit today. This time, Franken is demanding that all rejected absentee ballots be re-evaluated before Minnesota’s canvassing board certifies the final vote tally in the race. The Coleman campaign responded with an opinion from the State’s Attorney General to the effect that recounts are supposed to include only ballots actually cast in the election.
The Franken campaign came up with four instances of absentee ballots that were disqualified, they say improperly; all four, of course, were cast by Franken supporters. It’s not clear to me where Franken got the names of these would-be voters; are people who submit absentee ballots notified if their ballot is rejected? I don’t know.
Franken is evidently operating on the assumption that Democrats are less competent, on the average, than Republicans, so their ballots are more likely to be technically deficient. Franken is betting that the difference might be enough to erase Norm Coleman’s current 206-vote victory–soon to be raised, apparently, to 215 votes.
The real problem in our elections, of course, is not the tiny handful of ballots that might be rejected incorrectly, it is the much larger number that are cast illegally. This year, around 25 percent of all the ballots cast in Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is located, were by voters who registered at the polls. No one will ever know how many of those votes were illegally cast by illegal aliens, felons, non-Minnesota residents, or people who also voted in other precincts or other states–both of which are absurdly easy to do. No doubt, Al Franken benefited from thousands of illegally cast votes. But there is no way to connect a particular ballot with a specific illegal voter, so it is hard to see how these illegalities can ever be remedied. Many people fear that Al Franken will steal the election in the recount process, but I think it’s much more likely that he stole it on November 4.
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