Tuesday, January 06, 2009

... Pants on Fire!

Franken “seated”? There seems to be some shenanigans going on in Minnesota! Double voting and inconsistencies seem to be the norm, according to the Wall Street Journal:

...Under Minnesota law, election officials are required to make a duplicate ballot if the original is damaged during Election Night counting. Officials are supposed to mark these as "duplicate" and segregate the original ballots. But it appears some officials may have failed to mark ballots as duplicates, which are now being counted in addition to the originals. This helps explain why more than 25 precincts now have more ballots than voters who signed in to vote. ...

In other cases, the board has been flagrantly inconsistent. Last month, Mr. Franken's campaign charged that one Hennepin County (Minneapolis) precinct had "lost" 133 votes, since the hand recount showed fewer ballots than machine votes recorded on Election Night. Though there is no proof to this missing vote charge -- officials may have accidentally run the ballots through the machine twice on Election Night -- the Canvassing Board chose to go with the Election Night total, rather than the actual number of ballots in the recount. That decision gave Mr. Franken a gain of 46 votes.

Meanwhile, a Ramsey County precinct ended up with 177 more ballots than there were recorded votes on Election Night. In that case, the board decided to go with the extra ballots, rather than the Election Night total, even though the county is now showing more ballots than voters in the precinct. This gave Mr. Franken a net gain of 37 votes, which means he's benefited both ways from the board's inconsistency....

Real Clear Politics had this gem in an article from the New York Post:

...The recount resulted in a number of anomalies that cast serious doubt on Franken's victory. Among these are:

* 133 missing ballots from a heavily Democratic Minneapolis precinct that were nevertheless included in the recount.

* Other ballots that mysteriously appeared after election night in a heavily Democratic suburban St. Paul precinct that were also included in the recount.

* 130 absentee ballots that appear to have been double-counted in Franken's favor.

* And 650 additional improperly rejected absentee ballots identified by the Coleman campaign that were excluded in the recount. ...

Newsmax Interviews a Republican lawyer:

...Thielen criticized Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, saying he'd joined forces with Franken against Republican challenger Norm Coleman and "disenfranchised many of Minnesota's voters."

"Ritchie was consistently inconsistent," Thielen tells Newsmax. "On the outright fraud level, there were ballots where Coleman voters filled in the circle and put an 'X' over it, and others where Franken voters did the same thing."

"The canvassing board ruled the intent of the Franken voters was to vote for Franken, but the intent of Coleman voters was to cancel their vote," he says. "It's clear evidence that they were not following the same standards for all voters."

Thielen says the state supreme court essentially forfeited jurisdiction in the matter and "punted [the case] down the field to a trial court to decide at a later date."

Until that happens, efforts by partisan stalwarts such as New York Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer to seat Franken cannot proceed.

"[Schumer] is completely and utterly wrong," Thielen says. "Minnesota law says an election cannot be certified until all election contests are complete. Schumer is trying to seat a person who has not been certified by the state of Minnesota as the winner of the Senate seat."

Thielen noted the irony that Democrats are trying to rush Franken into the senate even as they work to keep Illinois' Roland Burris from being sworn in. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid has said he won't seat Burris, who was appointed by scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich, because the appointment has not been certified by the secretary of state.

"In Minnesota, we have the exact same situation," Thielen says. "The secretary of state is saying Franken is the winner, But the governor has not signed off on it, nor can it be certified until the court contests are done." ...

Alan Skorski, Author of Pants On Fire: How Al franken Lies, Smears, and Deceives, appeals to Minnesota Voters in the upcoming elections.