Minnesota Senate Recount Day 6
While Norm Coleman's lead over Al Franken in the Minnesota Senate race (MN-SEN) has been reduced to 84 votes according to the Franken campaign or has increased to 231 (according to the mystery math at the Strib), that's a statistically meaningless number. The Franken campaign identified 6,400 rejected absentee ballots that the Canvassing Board will adjudicate. What are the chances that they'll find lots of uncounted Franken votes among them? With the Coleman campaign challenging absolutely any ballot they possibly can, how many will be deemed frivolous and counted? MN Secretary of State Mark Ritchie wants a process established so that the frivolous challenges will be resolved before the Canvassing Board meets on December 16th. Good luck with that.
With the increase in challenges, we could now even hit 6,000 challenges. I'll show the math after the break.
|MN-SEN race recount|
|Updated every evening at 8pm|
|Challenged Franken ballots||1836||0.08%|
|Challenged Coleman ballots||1758||0.07%|
This is 80.62% of votes counted out of 2,885,502 votes cast on November 4th.
Here's the math showing why we'll reach 6,000.
- 6.44% votes recounted today.
- 793 ballot challenges today.
- 793 divided by 6.44% = 123 challenges per 1% recounted.
- 19.38% remains to be counted.
- 19.38% X 123 = 2384.
- 3594 ballots already challenged + 2384 = 5978.
Just to make any statistical analysis meaningless, add 6,400 rejected absentee ballots to be adjudicated on top of the 6,000 challenged ballots.
Campaigns for Democrat Al Franken and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman reached back into history to make their arguments before the board weighs in on Wednesday. Franken -- who trailed Coleman by 215 votes going into the recount -- is pushing to include ballots it says were wrongly rejected. Coleman wants them kept out.
It is no surprise that the Democratic candidate wants all votes that were legally cast count and that the Republican prevent any of the rejected absentee votes counted regardless of any clerical errors or whatever. What is interesting is where these rejected ballots are leading this race.
The Franken campaign has been pressing hardest for information on voters whose absentee ballots didn't count because there were problems with their signature and those where possible clerical errors occurred.
Lawyers for the ex-"Saturday Night Live" personality are citing a 1962 Supreme Court decision to argue that ballots should not be excluded because of technical mistakes or "an innocent failure" to comply with voting statutes.
But the Coleman campaign is also reaching back to find a ruling that supports their contention that these ballots should be rejected.
"Boards of canvassers have no authority to pass upon the regularity of an election or the qualifications of persons voting thereat," reads the 1858 opinion in a disputed state Senate race.
Are you pondering what I'm thinking? No ... I don't think there is a market for fiberglass pantyhose we can exploit to take over the world, Pinky ... I think that these rejected absentee ballots are going to court before the Canvassing Board gets to deal with them.
To further complicate matters, MN Sec of State Mark Ritchie wants to resolve the frivolous challenges amongst what I expect to be 6,000 challenged ballots.
Ritchie said he hopes both campaigns follow through with their earlier pledges to reconsider some of the challenges before those ballots are sent to the state Canvassing Board. That might still happen, but for now the campaigns are busy blaming each other of making too many frivolous challenges.
Frivolous challenges seem to be central to the Coleman campaign's strategy and I'm sure overenthusiastic Franken volunteers have challenged a few legit votes for Coleman. So on what basis does Ritchie expect the campaigns to come together and reduce the number? Weren't the recount officials told to punt any challenges to the Canvassing Board? I simply cannot imagine the Coleman campaign backing down and, consequently, I see no way for the Franken campaign to back off if the other isn't willing.