Coleman camp questions vote counting

Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign is filing a data practices request looking for all information related to results, ballot security and revisions made to the Secretary of State’s reporting of results since election night.

A release from the campaign says it is making the request of Mark Ritchie’s office and county auditors because “improbable and statistically dubious chunks of votes appear and disappear, overwhelmingly benefiting Al Franken.”

Here’s the quote from Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan:

“Minnesota has a history of fair and clean elections, and we are committed to ensuring that this election is no different. That is why it is so troubling to us that instead of the normal slight changes in vote totals one would expect during this process, we are now seeing huge chunks of votes appearing and disappearing – statistically dubious and improbable shifts that are overwhelmingly accruing to the benefit of Al Franken. And, as many of these unexplained and improbably vote swings are taking place on the Iron Range, we’re asking that local and state election officials provide us with the necessary data to reassure the public that the canvassing process has not been tainted.”

The campaign specifically cites 100 ballots reported from Mountain Iron that all went for Franken.

Could this be the first step to contesting the election in court and effectively removing Ritchie from the recount process?

  • Ed Nelson

    Obviously in Pine County the first report of 24 votes for Franken was incorrect and why someone forgot the 1 for the result of 124 is beyond me but the statistical spread for 124 makes alot more sense and jives with the rest of the area. In the iron range result it was reported today that they called in a result of 506 votes for Al Franken but the Secretary of State recorded the result in error as 406. So I don’t understand how someone making a clerical error is fraud?? Isn’t this why the vote tally is still called unofficial and hasn’t been certified??

    Regardless all this whining by the Coleman camp these apparent errors are only strengthening Al Franken’s request for the recount which would be well-observed by both parties and would be a recount by hand. It is clear that this needs to occur and we won’t know anything until that is done.

  • plaasjaapie

    I don’t know why anybody is surprised. In close elections Democrats always demand recounts and then miraculously find boxes of ballots that were misplaces by voting officials who also happen to be … Democrats.

    Democrats have been playing this game for many years. The Washington governor’s race in 2000 was a brilliant exercise in that regard. They kept finding whole ballot boxes that had been “accidently” stored in warehouses until the Democratic contender managed to win.

    If you ever watch Michigan statewide elections, for instance, you’ll notice that the polls from the whole state, except for Detroit, reports and goes Republican and then afterwards Detroit magically manages to report just enough votes to give the election to the Democrats. If you then look at the counts out of heavily Democratic precincts you’ll then notice that voting therein approaches 100% and sometimes accidentally exceeds that when things get really tight.

  • Chris

    plaasjaapie, the Washington Governor’s recount took place in 2004, not 2000, and the Secretary of State there is and was a Republican.

    Coleman’s allegations are the old “When did you stop beating your wife” trick, something that lawyers like the Senator are very familiar with. They just brazenly assert something with no proof and try to put the burden on others to disprove it. You saw that in the closing week as well, where he accused Franken of orchestrating a lawsuit filed by a Texas Republican oil executive with nary a shred of evidence to back his charges up.

    As for the votes they’re finding for Franken, I noticed this in Two Harbors Ward 1 on election night. Their initial reports had Franken getting 27 votes in that precinct while Obama was getting 336. McCain and Coleman both received 175 votes, and Barkley got 74. None of the other three other wards in Two Harbors were showing any kind of bizarre drop-off like that. Now the results show Franken with 273 votes in that precinct. Which is more plausible, that some clerk screwed up the initial entry and then corrected it, or that roughly 250 people out of 526 voting didn’t fill out their ballots in the Senate race, while still voting in the U.S. House and state legislative races? Common sense would indicate the former.

  • Kitty

    Yeah recounts are the oldest Democratic trick in the book, just look at the 2000 election when we stole the presidency from Bush. Oh wait, silly me didn’t that election go the other way?

  • Rhus Radicans

    The Presidential races 2000 and 2004 were demonstrably stolen by the Right Wing Nuts. Their fear this time around is that the rest of us have learned their games and we won’t be fooled again.