Friday, December 5, 2008

Missing Ballots? Uh huh...

The US Senate race in Minnesota remains undecided. Incumbent Senator Norm Coleman (a Republican), won on election day, but the margin was close enough to legally require a recount. With the re-tabulation process about 99 percent complete, Senator Coleman still maintains a lead of about 300 votes over the Democratic (more correctly Democratic-Farmer-Labor) challenger, the very liberal and very repulsive Al Franken.
But now (gasp!) CNN is reporting that there are apparently missing ballots in Minneapolis. Simply shocking, isn't it? Completion of the recount is on hold until the "missing" votes are found. The "missing" envelope supposedly contains about 130 ballots. "Simply put," thunders the Franken campaign, "these ballots must be found."
You saw this one coming, right? What do you bet those "missing" ballots are found? What do you bet more ballots turn up "missing?" What do you bet they finally find, oh, say, 300 votes for Al Franken?
UPDATE: (8 Dec. 2008). Sure enough, the Franken people today say more ballots have been found in some warehouse in Minneapolis. Imagine that!


Anonymous said...

And so they must. More important though are the nearly 6000 disputed ballots. But do I detect you laying the ground work for claims of a 'stolen' election? You and your ilk are pathetic for you blather on these lines, especially after the national debacle of 2000. The fact of the matter is these are ballots, votes, just as yours are counted , so should thesae be counted.

El Jefe Maximo said...

What I'm bothered about is the possibility that disputed ballots and "missing" ballots will simply be found until Franken wins. In a close election, I distrust any recounting process run by local politicians or local political machines, Republican or Democrat.

As for counting every vote, I support no process that goes through contortions where others must determine "voter intent." If the vote is not objectively obvious and in conformance with statutes, it should not be counted, period. Determinations of voter intent by third parties later are inherently subjective, which is why we have the category of invalid ballots in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Notwithstanding other comments, votes should be presented on election day. If they miss the deadline, they should not count. With a few exceptions, intelligent to stupid, democrats really run from being liberal relitivists to outright crooks. In the meantime Republicans stand around hoping the situation will take care of itself without their having to appear "overly aggressive" in righting democrat wrongs. It is a toss up who are the biggest blockheads. At the legislative level, term limits would help solve this. At the voters level it is simply insufferable laziness and ignorance

El Jefe Maximo said...

The problem I have with term limits is, first, the learning and experience curve -- when you have term limits you're throwing them out about the time they know their way around town enough to be useful (Congress is complicated). Term limiting the Senators and Representatives would empower the congressional staffs and the permanent bureaucracy more than the present system does already.

Secondly, when you term limit them, you're telling the venal exactly how long they have to feather their own nests and prepare for being an ex-Congressman/Senator. Now I assume that a certain amount of corruption occurs: I expect it in fact. It happens. Just a cost of doing business. But I'd like to get some work out of the people too. If you only have them there for a little bit, you empower the hell out of the lobbyists even more: because they can lean on the short timer congress types to be even more their tools than they already are.

The one institutional tweak I might support would be increasing the terms of Representatives from two years to four. On those same lines, I'd increase the term of the President to six years, and remove the limit on two terms. The way I figure it, if people want to re-elect somebody, it's their lookout, for as many terms as they like.

John Emerson said...

Minnesota has traditionally had clean elections. If someone wants to claim fraud it's up to them to provide evidence, instead of making a kneejerk claim every thime that something happens that harms their candidate.

A rather small number of routine mistakes have been routinely corrected so far. The 133 baoolts, the 10 ballots, the rejected absentee ballots, and the challenged ballots (about 4-6,000 of them) are still on the table and will be dealt with soon enough.

The margin is about 200 votes out of 2.9 million. It's just freakishly close. Both candidates are still in it, and both candidates are staying in until the end. That's exactly as it should be. Nether candidate has done anything wrong, but the national Republicans have been stinking up the place with charges and insinuations of "a stolen election". Wait for the votes to be counted.

At this point I'd favor Coleman about 2-1, but I don't know and neither does anybody else. That's why we count votes.

John Emerson said...

Voter intent is the standard according to Minnesota law. It doesn't make any difference what you feel about that.

People are making stuff up. Wait till after the election to collect your bets, OK?

El Jefe Maximo said...

Maybe you have a point Emerson...possibly, I have just gotten into the habit of expecting to be burned when it's close. Maybe.

On the other hand, do you really think, in the event the totals, as finally tabulated,come down for Senator Coleman, that the Franken people won't scream foul? The Coleman supporters will, of course, do the same thing. Doesn't NOT happen like that any more. Winner takes all.