While current vote totals in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes for the state’s Senate seat have Al Franken up by 312 votes over Norm Coleman, a recent “review of Minnesota’s statewide database of registered voters revealed at least 2,812 deceased individuals voted in last November’s general election, according to a new report by the “traditional values” advocacy group Minnesota Majority.”
Looking at this study, Jim Geraghty asks, “it would be useful to know the vote breakdown of these 2,800 or so votes.”
While we may not be able to determine how the dead voted, there is a standard that gives us a pretty accurate estimate. It’s from the City of Chicago which has a long history of dead men people voting. Overwhelmingly the dead in the Windy City prefer the party of Richard Daley, a pioneer in the electoral rights of the formerly living. Going with the Chicago rule whereby the dead vote by a margin of approximately 7.48 to 1 for the Democrat, 2,437 of the dead voted for Franken, with 375 voting for Coleman.
Some may have voted for Third Party candidate, Dean Barkley–alas, the Chicago rule does not consider Third Party candidates. Also to consider, Franken has a name that is likely to make a dead voter more amenable to his candidacy.
So, it seems Franken picked up 2,062 votes from dead voters (give or take a few hundred). Remove those from his tally and the lead returns to Coleman (who was ahead on election night and remained ahead until the Franken campaign persuaded canvassers to include previously rejected absentee ballots, where Democratic counties had more liberal standards for including such ballots than did Republican counties).
It seems that the dead really did put Franken over the top.