While most pundits are focused on the scandal surrounding the Democratic Governor of Illinois, few people are paying much attention to the shenanigans of the Democrats in Minnesota.
Shortly, after November 4, when all the ballots were counted, Republican Norm Coleman led his Democratic challenger Al Franken by about 300 votes.Â As the recount concluded, Coleman led by a smalerr margin, minuscule in terms of percentage of the vote, but a margin nonetheless.Â So, you’d think that Franken would concede defeat.
But, no, not for Democrats in close elections.Â Just like in Washington State in 2004, Democrats weren’t satisfed when Republican Dino Rossi led the first count and then the recount, so moveon.org paid for yet another recount, ballots were discovered in King County (Seattle–the most liberal juridiction in the state) and, presto chango!, Democrat Christine Gregoire eked out a win.
Or, recall Florida in 2000.Â Each successive recount showed George W. Bush with a lead, but Al Gore wanted to keep counting.Â You see, Democrats want to keep counting until they win (while they seek to exclude ballots which tend to favor Republicans).
And they’re trying that in Minnesota, with Franken raising the issue of the “Fifth Pile” of rejected absentee ballots only as it was becoming clear that he would not win the recount.
On Friday, the Minnesota Canvassing Board “recommended that all counties include the absentee ballots that were unfairly rejected on Election Day in the recount.“Â On its face, that sounds like a good decision.Â The only problem is that the board didn’t set a uniform standard, thus allowing election boards in each of the state’s 87 counties to use their own discretion in determining which ballots to count and which to exclude:
Beyond that, the fundamental point is that there is no standard to guide the counties as they create (or don’t create) “fifth piles.” Some counties will say that unsigned ballots should be counted–contrary to the statute–as long as they were signed by an election judge. Others won’t. Numerous other, similar issues will arise. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that the most partisan counties will take the most liberal approach and put as many ballots as possible into the fifth pile. Those counties are, without exception, controlled by the Democratic Party: Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis. They are also the state’s biggest counties.
And many of these “fifth pile” absentee ballots, apparently for Franken, mysteriously appeared in “some strongly Democratic counties such as St. Louis counties,” after election day.
Eight years ago, the media pilloried then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris for less than the strange goings-on in the Gopher State. If a Republican state Secretary of State had ties to a conservative group with legal problems as Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has to ACORN, you can bet the media would make an issue of it. But, only conservatives have questioned his ties (e.g. here) to that left-wing outfit often in trouble with the law.
Now that the Minnesota state Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Coleman campaign’s “petition for a hearing regarding the issues raised by the Board of Canvassers’ ‘recommendation’ that Minnesota’s 87 counties certain previoulsy rejected absentee ballots,” there’s a chance the Democrats might not steal a Senate seat. But, they just might.