Diary

Surprise, Surprise: Franken Catches All the 'Breaks'

The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Franken started the recount 215 votes behind Senator Coleman, but he now claims a 225-vote lead and suddenly the man who was insisting on “counting every vote” wants to shut the process down. He’s getting help from Mr. Ritchie and his four fellow Canvassing Board members, who have delivered inconsistent rulings and are ignoring glaring problems with the tallies.

How have Democratic officeholders helped Franken so far? Read the whole thing, but here’s a quick summary:

  • Local elections officials have forgotten to label some ballots as ‘duplicates,’ and more than 25 precincts now register more ballots counted than voters who appeared at the polls. This has yielded Franken an additional 80 to 100 votes.
  • The Canvassing Board has been inconsistent. Franken charged that one Minneapolis precinct had ‘lost’ 133 votes that were recorded on election night. Though there’s no proof to the charge, the Board endorsed Franken’s view, giving him a gain of 46 votes. Meanwhile, a Ramsey County precinct ended up with 177 ‘extra votes’ — more than recorded on Election Night. Here 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 Franken a gain of 37 more votes, which means he’s benefited both ways from the board’s inconsistency.
  • With regard to absentee ballots, Franken complained that some were wrongly rejected. Counties were directed to review their absentees and create a list of those mistakenly rejected. Many Franken-leaning counties did so, and their 1.350 additional ballots were counted over the weekend. Many Coleman-leaning counties have not yet done so however, and the State Supreme Court hasn’t yet ruled on Coleman’s request to standardize the review statewide. Nevertheless, the Franken-leaning counties had their ballots counted this weekend, giving Franken 176 votes more.
  • Both campaigns have also suggested that the Democratic Secretary of State made mistakes in counting votes challenged by either campaign. The Canvassing Board appears to have applied inconsistent standards in how it decided some of those challenges — in ways that have favored Franken.

This afternoon the State Supreme Court rejected Coleman’s request to block certification of the count and order the counting of the 650 absentee ballots from ‘his’ counties. Notably, the Court has not ruled on the question of whether these ballots should have been counted; it’s merely refraining from inserting itself into the ongoing dispute, in favor of allowing a lower court to review the matter at greater length. However, that won’t stop the Democrat-leaning Canvassing Board from certifying Franken’s ‘victory,’ and making it harder for a court to overturn down the road.

And that’s just another way of saying the Democrats have their thumbs on the scale for Franken, as they have during the whole count.

Via Jennifer Rubin