Did Felons Provide Franken’s Edge?

Our conclusion on the post-election cliffhanger between Norm Coleman and Al Franken was that the Democrats may well have stolen the election; but if so, the theft occurred on election day, not in the proceedings that took place thereafter, however painful those proceedings may have been to us Republicans.
On June 28, a local group called Minnesota Majority released a report on a study they conducted that found that hundreds of felons voted illegally in Minnesota in 2008. The complete report is here. The report is not as clear as it might be, but it appears that the group has identified 341 felons who voted illegally in Hennepin and Ramsey counties alone:

To date, Minnesota Majority has obtained 341 copies of Hennepin and Ramsey County court registers of actions that document felons’ ineligibility to vote on November 4th 2008, that are linked to electronic voter history records of people who SVRS indicates voted in 2008.

Franken won by 312 votes, so it is possible that felons swung the election, as presumably nearly all of them voted for the Democrat.
Other forms of illegal voting took place, too; one notorious example is college students who vote in Wisconsin and then cross the border to vote in Minnesota. While there is no way to determine the number, it is also clear that illegal aliens and other non-citizens voted in some urban precincts. I have no doubt that if only legal ballots had been counted, Norm Coleman would have been re-elected.
This highlights the importance of preserving the integrity of our election system. Here in Minnesota, Republicans have campaigned for years to require voter identification at the polls, but those efforts have been blocked by the Democrats, who always like to have a little wiggle room in election results. This year, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State is talking about nothing else. If he can get his message out, he will win.
It is a terrible thing for voter fraud orchestrated by criminal groups like ACORN to swing an election, but the reality is that no human institution is perfect and some elections are so close that they turn on random events. We Republicans simply can’t count on winning elections that come down to the last few hundred votes. As Hugh Hewitt reminded us several years ago, If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat.