More Franken Ballots Found!
Since the initial counting of ballots on Election Day, caches of new Al Franken ballots have been mysteriously discovered on a regular basis. Yesterday, a few more turned up.
The U.S. Senate recount took two abrupt turns Tuesday, both boosting the prospects of DFLer Al Franken.
Franken unexpectedly picked up 37 votes due to a combined machine malfunction and human error on Election Day that left 171 Maplewood ballots safe, secure but uncounted until Tuesday’s final day of recounting in Ramsey County. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office immediately asked county officials to explain what had happened, and U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign said it sent its own experts to Ramsey County to review the situation and said it was “skeptical about [the ballots’] sudden appearance.”
About three decades ago, then-Saturday Night Live writer and personality Al Franken jokingly asked people who weren’t itemizing their taxes to send him all their receipts since, as a TV personality, pretty much everything counted as a “business expense” for him. Now, apparently, they’re sending him ballots.
Either that, or Bock Fest started early this year and the state’s election officials are too drunk to do their jobs.
Regardless, in the addition to the mysterious appearance of ballots a month after the election, we’ve got this:
The day’s other news — which Franken’s campaign quickly described as a “breakthrough” — came when Ritchie’s office asked local election officials to examine an estimated 12,000 rejected absentee ballots and determine whether their rejection fell under one of four reasons for rejection defined in state law. The Secretary of State’s office asked that ballots that were rejected for something other than the four legal reasons be placed into a so-called “fifth category.” The fifth category, Ritchie’s office said, could also include absentee ballots rejected for reasons that were “not based on factual information.”
The “Featured Comment” at the page right now is rather salient:
This is a joke. I have gotten to the point where I have zero confidence in the way this state conducts itself when counting ballots. They have found missing ballots all over this state and I think its shameful. We are turning into a bigger embarrasement than Florida ever was. How about all the other races? Did you all count them wrong too?
It’s a fair question. In extremely close elections, we may simply not be able to get the count 100 percent right. That’s especially true when human judgment has to be applied as to whether a particular ballot is properly marked. But the continued discovery of new Franken ballots and second guessing of initial decisions mostly going Franken’s way naturally raises suspicion of foul play, even though it’s likely just a case of imperfect officials trying to do their job. Either way, though, the process is an embarrassment.