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MN-Senate: The Race That Never Ends



The Minnesota Senate recount could be the story of the election season -- and each candidate has his own way of telling it.

The rest of the country may have moved on from the 2008 election but in Minnesota, things are just getting (re)started with a statewide hand recount of the more than 2.9 million votes cast in the Senate race between Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and entertainer Al Franken (D) set to begin Wednesday.

Since the balloting ended roughly two weeks ago, both sides have done everything in their power to "work the refs" (the media) to tell the story from their point of view.

For Coleman, the narrative is that his campaign won fair and square on election day but has now watched in horror (mock or real is anybody's guess) as a re-canvassing of the vote has narrowed his lead over Franken to just 206 votes. Coleman and his team have repeatedly sought to raise questions about the impartiality of Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie -- one of the five members of the canvassing board and a Democrat -- as well as Franken's tactics in the aftermath of Nov. 4.

"Before this recount begins, Minnesotans must have confidence that the Franken campaign's Florida style tactics will be rejected with vigor by the courts and by the Secretary of State's Office," said Fritz Knaack, senior counsel to the Coleman campaign. "There is no need for any of this to be going on in our state."

From the Franken perspective, the candidate and the campaign are simply seeking to ensure that everyone who cast a ballot -- for either candidate -- has his/her vote counted.

"It is clear that the Coleman campaign's strategy, executed with the help of its surrogates and allies, is to undermine the process and disenfranchise just enough voters that they can win," Franken deputy campaign manager Eric Schultz wrote in a memo sent to reporters late last week. "Minnesota law, unfortunately, doesn't allow them to do that. And, for our part, we're going to see to it that those laws are applied to protect Minnesotans' right to choose their Senator."

What does all of this sturm und drang add up to? That depends.

On the one hand, the rules governing a manual statewide recount are very clear. The five person board is set to meet tomorrow to certify the vote and, if expected, the Coleman margin is under .5 percent of all the votes cast, a recount will begin on Wednesday. (For more on the who, what, when, where and why on the recount, make sure to check out the Strib's handy-dandy recount guide.)

On the other, veterans of the 2000 Florida recount between George W. Bush and Al Gore know that the law can -- and will be -- interpreted in a flood of legal maneuvers that are already underway in Minnesota.

With just 206 votes separating the two candidates, any and all efforts to count (or disqualify) ballots have to be watched extremely closely as even the slightest change in the tabulations could change the identity of the next senator from Minnesota.

It's impossible to know how -- or even when -- this will shake out.

Coleman's biggest edge heading into the recount is that he is ahead, narrowly but ahead nonetheless. It matters both practically and symbolically; voters tend to lose interest in an election rapidly once it ends and a lack of attention and interest would accrue to Coleman's benefit.

Franken has two things going for him. First, he received nearly 362,000 fewer votes statewide than did Barack Obama -- a significant undervote in the Senate race that could suggest there are still some votes out there for Franken. Second, Minnesota election law is relatively loose when it comes to determining a voter's preference; that is, as long as it is clear who the voter meant to support, the vote will likely be counted.

This saga is going to continue for weeks -- if not months. And we'll be there.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 17, 2008; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: The Lieberman Vote: What It Means and Why

Comments

Norm needs the Senate seat, as the bribes and payments to his absentee wife help cover the cost of his massive dental bills. And hair plugs. Even the Senate health care plan has its limits!

Posted by: vfazio | November 18, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

nwsjnky1: Google "Die Lorelei" by Heinrich Heine and you get a bunch of singing posts.

I had to learn the parts I remember from fifty years ago in Speech and Music Class.

Posted by: ceflynline | November 18, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that this situation isn't resolved yet. Right next door in Wisconsin is one of the best voter operations around. Why not take advantage of their expertise in getting Franken in?

Posted by: leapin | November 18, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

A recount, when most votes are tabulated by machine, basically comes down to the following:

1. Natural error in the machines. No process is perfect; there is always error. If all the machines were fairly well calibrated, the error is probably less than 206 votes and there is a fifty-fifty chance the error was for Franken and against Coleman (or even for Barkley). A recount just allows that error to swing again. It is unlikely Franken could win, even with a 206 vote difference, purely on a machine recount.

2. Machines can only count votes that match what it was designed to see. So if you draw a smiley face next to Franken, the machine will register no vote for US Senate. In a hand recount, that vote could be counted if the smiley face is deemed to be an indication of the voter's will to vote for Franken. Since Coleman won with a strict interpretation of voter's will, obviously he wants a strict interpretation during the hand recount. Franken on the other hand has no choice but to support the retarded, clueless and visibly shaky.

3. It all comes down to one question: Among the retarded, clueless and visibly shaky voters who cannot fill in a circle, or whatever the ballot requires, are there 207 more of them who wanted Franken over Coleman?

Posted by: caribis | November 18, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

is it just me or do Norm Coleman's teeth glow in the dark?

Posted by: corridorg4 | November 18, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

To Ceflynline: Nice Deutch! I'd like the rest of the words. This is my mother's favorite song (Die Lorelie). She is first generation American. Anyway, it seems to me to be incredible that someone like Coleman is screaming Florida. Everyone knows he's been President Dumbo's lap dog. I'd use a different expression, but I don't want to get kicked off of this forum.

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | November 18, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Treasury Secretary should let President Obama control all the bailout funds!

Posted by: ok4u | November 18, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

for all who don't know: kingofzouk is rush limbaugh's pet parrot. he just flies over here to spew rush's lies and crap all over the carpet.

Posted by: drindl | November 18, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse


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Telling over the past few weeks was when the idea of an auto bail-out got out, the reaction was "Why don't they let them go bankrupt, jettison the debts and restructure the union contracts."

Such a position would have been unthinkable 30 years ago.


However that reaction appears to have stopped the talk of a bail-out.

We are in uncharted territory right now.


Let's recap: We have a Treasury Secretary who went to Capitol Hill asked for $700 Billion for the bail-out with the stated purpose of purchasing toxic assets.


NOW HE SAYS HE IS NOT DOING THAT -


Why doesn't he give the money back ? -


At the same time WHAT IS HE DOING WITH THAT MONEY -

AT THE SAME TIME THEY APPEAR TO HAVE QUIETED THE OBAMA PEOPLE BY PROMISING TO GIVE THEM CONTROL OVER HALF THE MONEY.


Chris would you please write a piece on this topic?


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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 18, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Zouk: "While Sweden is a first world country, its health care system - at least in regards to access - is closer to the third world. Because the health care system is heavily-funded and operated by the government, the system is plagued with waiting lists for surgery. Those waiting lists increase patients' anxiety, pain and risk of death.

Sweden's health care system offers two lessons for the policymakers of the United States. The first is that a single-payer system is not the answer to the problems faced as Americans. Sweden's system does not hold down costs and results in rationing of care. The second lesson is that market-oriented reforms must permit the market to work. Specifically, government should not protect health care providers that fail to provide patients with a quality service from going out of business."

You really don't want to bring Sweden into a discussion on US health care - it's going to be embarrassing.

Sweden spends roughly half as much on health care (per capita) as the US. And Sweden's medical outcomes (life expectancy, morbidity, recovery rates etc.) are far superior to those in the US.

It is the US which features third world health care - except for the privileged few.

Posted by: strum | November 18, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

"You Liberals don't have to be revolting anymore."

Can't help it. Bush apologists just make me sick. I've got little patience for that blatant display of willful ignorance.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 18, 2008 3:08 AM | Report abuse


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There has to be something behind the money disparity which Obama had - and an investigation is in order.


If it is true that a simple computer function could VERIFY THAT THERE IS A MATCH BETWEEN THE NAME GIVEN BY THE CONTRIBUTOR AND THE NAME ON THE CREDIT CARD then it makes sense that Federal Election Laws call for that function to be TURNED ON.


IF that function was PURPOSELY TURNED OFF BY THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN - and therefore a dilberate act committed to NOT VERIFY THAT THE INFORMATION ENTERED INTO OBAMA'S COMPUTER FILES WAS CORRECT, LEGAL AND FROM DOMESTIC SOURCES, well then there is a potential problem.


The Obama Campaign had a LEGAL OBLIGATION to verify that all contributions are from DOMESTIC SOURCES -


If the Obama people were purposely ignoring that legal obligation there is a problem.

In addition, I believe the Federal Election Commission should take a pro-active stance with the credit card companies and see to it that a means is created to verify that credit card payments are in compliance with federal laws. It is not that difficult to have the computer match a credit card with an address. There should be an investigation.

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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 17, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

You Liberals don't have to be revolting anymore.

Posted by: rpatoh | November 17, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"If you believe that millions of people just suddenly decided to find out what is happening in American politics and cast an informed vote based on presidential campaigning you are nuts."

And you are an idiot if you think most regular voters are especially informed as well. Yeah, that's how we elected Bush to eight years, right?

You do realize that John Stossel is a dishonest idiot, right? Right?

Posted by: DDAWD | November 17, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/Story?id=5985719&page=1

There's the Stossel article. I guess it goes without saying to note that the logic is a bit spurious given that for some reason the focus is on young voters who don't know how many Senators are from each state.

Perhaps he should have asked them if they thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11.

And I have far more political knowledge than John Stossel, but I sure as hell don't know what the Supreme Court justices look like.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 17, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

officermancuso,

You are an idiot. I never suggested that anybody had any other motives to vote than to vote for Obama. As far as partisanship my comment was fairly neutral. If want to devote your time to being an Obama apologist, you don't need to apologize to me. If you believe that millions of people just suddenly decided to find out what is happening in American politics and cast an informed vote based on presidential campaigning you are nuts. If you think biased pollsters counted votes for Obama yet discarded votes for Franken you should provide something to substantiate that illogical assertion.

Posted by: rpatoh | November 17, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MatthewAvitabile | November 17, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

rpatoh, in your first link, the likeliest story to support your belief is this one:

"(Newser) – Countless actors, musicians and other celebrities have volunteered their time encouraging young people to vote. But should they? ABC News anchor John Stossel quizzed voters on basic political knowledge at a registration-drive concert and in the nation’s capital. A shockingly high number of uninformed answers led Stossel to the “politically incorrect” conclusion that some trips to the polls aren’t in the civic interest.

"Shouldn’t these people, asks Stossel, leave the decision-making to those better informed? “If you don't know what you're doing, you are not doing the country a favor by voting,” one economist told him. But voter-registration advocates disagree: “There's a lot of uninformed voters out there,” says one. “But democracy is about every individual having a voice.”

Source Creators Syndicate

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A careful reading of that story finds no evidence that Obama voters were uninformed. The story merely asserts it.

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Your second link is to a Politico article about Obama's position on the Strategic Petroleum reserve. It most certainly contains no evidence that Obama voters were uninformed.

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Your third link is to a story headlined "Obama blasted for praising Reagan", and again, it most certainly contains no evidence that Obama voters were uninformed.

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It looks to me like you put up three links to make it look as though you had evidence to suggest that Obama voters were more poorly informed than Palin/McCain voters, knowing full well that anyone who clicked on the links would discover that the stories are not germane to your claim.

I would expect little more from today's GOP, which has made a living by dirty tricks, smoke, and mirrors.

You people don't even remember when that party once stood for something believable.

Sad.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 17, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

"The excitement of Obama's candidacy brought many new voters to the polls"

http://www.newser.com/tag/34957/1/new-voters.html

"Most of those people didn't know what Obama stood for, or his party affiliation."

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12329.html

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/748430,obamagop011808.stng

Posted by: rpatoh | November 17, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

"Florida style"? Oh my God, that Coleman reference makes me ill. "Florida style" means not counting the votes. That's what the Supreme Court did in 2000 — it stopped the vote-count in Florida and handed the Presidency to George W. Bush. More than 4,000 American soldiers' lives later....

Norm Coleman should be ashamed of himself, but of course he won't be.

Posted by: McGee2 | November 17, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

rpatoh wrote, "The excitement of Obama's candidacy brought many new voters to the polls with the single-minded purpose of voting for Obama. Most of those people didn't know what Obama stood for, or his party affiliation."

It's clear that you believe this. It's not clear why. I could speculate, as you have - my speculation would be, this belief unsupported by evidence makes you feel good for some reason. But then I'd be just as guilty of bad reasoning as you are.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 17, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

It's nor surprising, nor should it have been unexpected that the majority of under-votes were from Obama supporters. The excitement of Obama's candidacy brought many new voters to the polls with the single-minded purpose of voting for Obama. Most of those people didn't know what Obama stood for, or his party affiliation. Good thing we have the Constitution and are a nation governed by laws and not by men....LOL

Posted by: rpatoh | November 17, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"you got to be joking. this is why Libs are never, ever taken seriously about anything of substance. Posted by: king_of_zouk

King, here's a newsflash: Your sainted GOP just got is a** handed to it on a platter.
Grow up and get over yourself. Your childish name-calling and 2004 mindset won't cut it anymore.
Get a clue, man. Turn off the right-wing radio and start thinking for yourself.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | November 17, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline wrote, in part, "Sturm und Drang: A literary movement in renascent Germany at the end of the 19th century, led by poets like Hesse and Goethe. Lots of well told fairy tales, lots of memorable poetry "Die Lorelie", "das Faustus", usw."

Glad to see that the United Steel Workers had a hand in that deal.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 17, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

"you got to be joking. this is why Libs are never, ever taken seriously about anything of substance. Posted by: king_of_zouk

Well, with your record of substance in your incredible pronouncements annent the just almost completed election, just who has to be joking, us libs, who were right, or you, 37th & O, and your coterie, who TOLE US and TOLE US and TOLE US how we were certain to lose.

Credibility isn't your long suit, or your strong suit.

AND, Sturm und Drang: A literary movement in renascent Germany at the end of the 19th century, led by poets like Hesse and Goethe. Lots of well told fairy tales, lots of memorable poetry "Die Lorelie", "das Faustus", usw. German Lit's answer to English Majors being tortured by Spencer, Chaucer, Mallory and Tennyson.

Most appropriate, "Ich weisz nicht was sohl es beduetet dasz ich so traurig bin."

Posted by: ceflynline | November 17, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"you got to be joking. this is why Libs are never, ever taken seriously about anything of substance. Posted by: king_of_zouk

Well, with your record of substance in your incredible pronouncements annent the just almost completed election, just who has to be joking, us libs, who were right, or you, 37th & O, and your coterie, who TOLE US and TOLE US and TOLE US how we were certain to lose.

Credibility isn't your long suit, or your strong suit.

AND, Sturm und Drang: A literary movement in renascent Germany at the end of the 19th century, led by poets like Hesse and Goethe. Lots of well told fairy tales, lots of memorable poetry "Die Lorelie", "das Faustus", usw. German Lit's answer to English Majors being tortured by Spencer, Chaucer, Mallory and Tennyson.

Most appropriate, "Ich weisz nicht was sohl es beduetet dasz ich so traurig bin."

Posted by: ceflynline | November 17, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The primal rite of democracy is voting in elections, though neocons might have you believe it's waging war.

If you can undermine the citizenry's belief that our elections are fairly conducted, you can undermine their belief that our government has a right to govern us.

Suppose an enemy were to disable our power grid in substantial parts of the nation on an election day.

How much of new voting technology is driven by a desire to be able to tabulate results within moments of poll closing? How vital is that speed of counting to our continued faith in democratic institutions?

It'd suit me fine if we conducted elections by plain paper ballot. I'm well aware that the term "stuffing the ballot box" goes back to the days of paper ballot voting, but I'm not aware of any great hue and cry across the land about unfair elections comparable to Florida 2000 during the paper ballot era.

Is it labor-intensive and "backwards"? Sure. So is dancing - another primal rite.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 17, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk:

How much money will you be sending to Jim Martin's campaign in Georgia?

He would really appreciate your support, and if you can help the Dems get to 60 in the Senate, you'll be able to rail on about liberals for decades to come!

Here's where you can donate:

http://www.actblue.com/page/changetogeorgia?refcode=splash

Posted by: RexRacer | November 17, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, thanks for pointing me to the "sturm und drang" reference.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 17, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Aliens and the CIA forced XanderB to write

"Actually it sounds like a horrible way to run a voting process. This form of ballot is outdated. It is just one more reason, in my eyes, to reform the voting process and update it with 21st century technology."
==============

Outdated? Maybe.
Break down? Not that I ever saw in 20 years.
Vote lost in cyberspace? Never.
Touch the screen and get a different result? Never.
Hanging chads? Never.
Paper trail? Always.

While other states have had significant problems (and legal issues) with state-of-the-art terminals, Minnesota didn't buy into new, untested and unsecure systems. And the very plain paper ballots very easily show the voter's intent.

I don't have any problem with upgrading technology, but not with beta versions.

Just because there's a newer machine doesn't mean it's better. Yet.

Posted by: dastubbs | November 17, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

What kind of children's games are these bloggers playing? One blasts all liberals and another calls all Republicans too dumb to make it past the third grade. Does any of this pose a sensible solution to the process of voting in Minnesota, or anywhere else? Grow up, folks. There is much serious work to be done all, and that means all of us.

Posted by: cy31b | November 17, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

"thescuspeaks wrote, "nice use of sturm und drang. I use to be a big Johann Georg Hamann when getting my philosophy degree as an undergrad."

It would be helpful to know what comment this post addresses, or what aspect of Chris Cillizza's post, if that's the target."

It's referring to the part of CC's post where he says "sturm und drang" It means storm and stress. Although I think stress means like urgings or lusts and not like headaches.

I don't know, I don't speak German or study philosophy.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 17, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Also, a lot of the undervoting has shown to be in Democratic counties--another thing Franken has going for him. If just one vote is made up every nine precincts then Franken will win. Thus far, it looks good for Franken.

Posted by: jdunph1 | November 17, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

thescuspeaks wrote, "nice use of sturm und drang. I use to be a big Johann Georg Hamann when getting my philosophy degree as an undergrad."

It would be helpful to know what comment this post addresses, or what aspect of Chris Cillizza's post, if that's the target.

This degree didn't by any chance come from Northwestern SUNY or Duquesne, where incomprehensibility is taken as a sign of intellectual vigor (a legacy from Heidegger, I guess), did it?

Posted by: officermancuso | November 17, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"Funny thing liberals always like to claim they're the party of intellectuals yet they're by far the majority who can't figure out simple things like how to follow directions and fill out a ballot."

It's a big tent, buddy.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 17, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"David Hogberg, is a right win nutcase that "normally" writes for the American Spectator but I'd bet if you paid him enough, he would write anything you wanted. Based on your post, I figure you're getting you "information" from him. Try reading something from someone who actually knows what they are talking about for a change."

Dude, koz is just making things up he knows to be false. Somewhere he posted that Obama's margin of victory was a small percentage over Bush's. Like everyone knows this isn't true.

This guy is just a web version of Bill O'Reilly except he doesn't get paid. They both spout off stuff they know to be patently false. O'Reilly, yeah, he gets paid. I'm not sure what this koz guy gets out of it. Does it matter? Surely he's not something to get worked up over.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 17, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

""The cool thing about MN ballots is that they're the "fill in the circle" kind and scanned by optical readers. And while the scanner may reject a ballot where the circle is not completely filled in, state law says the voter's intent can be determined if the voter used a check mark, an "X" over/under filled the circle, and even drew a circle or box around the candidate's name. No hanging chads, just marks on a ballot.

Sounds pretty sensible, eh?"

Actually it sounds like a horrible way to run a voting process. This form of ballot is outdated. It is just one more reason, in my eyes, to reform the voting process and update it with 21st century technology.

Posted by: XanderB"

---------------
Funny thing liberals always like to claim they're the party of intellectuals yet they're by far the majority who can't figure out simple things like how to follow directions and fill out a ballot.

Posted by: Cryos | November 17, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

nice use of sturm und drang. I use to be a big Johann Georg Hamann when getting my philosophy degree as an undergrad.

Posted by: thescuspeaks | November 17, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

no - not retired, not on any golden health care. typical big corp policy. end of job = end of subsidy. this is very intimidating but it does not alter my principles.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

--" Actually it sounds like a horrible way to run a voting process. This form of ballot is outdated. It is just one more reason, in my eyes, to reform the voting process and update it with 21st century technology.

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 5:55 PM "--

The answer to every problem is not new technology. When Best Buy and Costo stop looking at the paperwork as I leave the store, or the department store no longer demands the receipt before giving out cash for a return - then is the time to reconsider paper.

Hey make no mistake, I make a living with technology - I love it. But I also know that when the Republican beats a Democrat - 3 billion votes to 2.8 billion - then only thing that can be said is that the Democrat is worse at cheating.

PS - Once I'm dead - feel free to get rid of that ancient and outdated paper (or metal) money. I've scant hope of seeing the 'Star Trek' society without need of money. But if I ever did, you'd never find me outside of a holodeck.

Posted by: DonJasper | November 17, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk wrote, "if you had to eat smelly fish every day, you'd be thin too."

I was alarmed to find myself, for once, in agreement with zouk, but I've regained possession of my senses by pondering the possibility of a diet consisting exclusively of anchovy pizzas.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 17, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - If I read you correctly, you are a retired government employee, likely federal, with lifetime medical coverage. You got your's and to h*ll with everyone else, right? Well, get ready for universal health care in one form or another, because even my Republican friends who have lost their all want it, now. As the NeoCon Depression really sets in and million see their health care blow away, two thing you can count on - universal health care and an national movement to punish any company (likely with sky high punitive taxes and trade tariff's) that outsources/outsourced jobs.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 17, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

--"Mikeb and other Libs, [snip]

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:54 PM "--

Sorry guys, I've asked him to refer to us as our preferred term of either "Haters of America" or "America haters" instead of the 1970's 'liberal', but sometimes there's no getting through to some people.

Posted by: DonJasper | November 17, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I would have to assume that you just don't have anything intelligent to say.

Posted by: XanderB
and you have removed all doubt about yourself. no assumptions necessary. your simple contribution today is to demand that I leave. typical Lib.

go Fairness doctrine. F the 1st amend.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I suggest Franken and Coleman both resign and jointly request that the governor appoint Jesse Ventura to fill the vacant seat. If nothing else, a Ventura/James Webb arm-wrestling competition would be entertaining.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 17, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"The cool thing about MN ballots is that they're the "fill in the circle" kind and scanned by optical readers. And while the scanner may reject a ballot where the circle is not completely filled in, state law says the voter's intent can be determined if the voter used a check mark, an "X" over/under filled the circle, and even drew a circle or box around the candidate's name. No hanging chads, just marks on a ballot.

Sounds pretty sensible, eh?"

Actually it sounds like a horrible way to run a voting process. This form of ballot is outdated. It is just one more reason, in my eyes, to reform the voting process and update it with 21st century technology.

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Mikeb and other Libs, your argument would go alot further with various people if you stopped trying to force untenable "facts". Free health care will not be better, it will not be cheaper, it will create lines, it will ration care and it will limit options and it will degrade medicine in general including doctors. there is no getting around this. and conflating poor health brought on by too much Mcdonalds, with poor health care, is not sound. we die young because we are fat, the Swedes are not. if you had to eat smelly fish every day, you'd be thin too.

now if you want to try to make a case that despite all those negatives, we owe it to our citizens in some way, then I would be open to negotiation.

but it is pointless to make Obama-like false promises that can only be met with dissappointment.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The cool thing about MN ballots is that they're the "fill in the circle" kind and scanned by optical readers. And while the scanner may reject a ballot where the circle is not completely filled in, state law says the voter's intent can be determined if the voter used a check mark, an "X" over/under filled the circle, and even drew a circle or box around the candidate's name. No hanging chads, just marks on a ballot.

Sounds pretty sensible, eh?

Coleman should be worried...with the reported "under vote," I bet Franken ends up winning. Barkley didn't draw off THAT many votes.

DAStubbs
Minneapolis

Posted by: dastubbs | November 17, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"If I had something intelligent to say, why would I waste it on Liberals?"

Well, considering you don't know if you are talking to a Conservative or a Liberal, I would have to assume that you just don't have anything intelligent to say.

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Franken Wants Disqualified Ballots to Count Democrat Al Franken’s campaign filed a brief Monday seeking to have the organization in charge of certifying the election include some disqualified provisional and absentee ballots in the vote totals. The Hill

What did you expect?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - I work in health care. That first article addressed the fact that the Swedish system is held up as one of the best in the world. The second, in some research funded by the AMA, systems in several countries are compared. Note that the U.S., with a consumer favorable rating of only 40% was dead last. Sweden was 50%, even the U.K. had 57%. France was 60%! In measurable terms of disease prevention and care, treatment, access, etc. all of the countries surveyed were rated at 50% or more above the U.S. The only area where the U.S. was rated higher was in terms of *potential* access to procedures for the very wealthy or available to those with really good health care insurance. Essentially, if you are a public employee or are filthy rich, you get good care in this country. Otherwise, forget it. Oh, and ALL OF US, pay for that good care the very very few get. Our taxes, direct and indirect, that provides that really excellent care is the highest in the world. So, we do have a sort of perverted universal health care right now - it's just a universal payment plan, with only about one third of the population receiving that universally paid for care.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 17, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Mike b - you should really read these things before you post them as your "evidence" After railing on the author of my post, did you even stop to consider who wrote yours:

Prepared By:
Jessica A. Hohman
Miami University (Ohio)
Class of 2006

you are advocating we conduct policy prepared by a group of young students as a term paper? One that finds a way to value health care and compare it across the globe? without reading the whole thing, let me guess, it is highly valued if poor people like it alot. for example, how heavy was this factor:

WHO Fairness in Financial Contribution Ranking (2000)

you got to be joking. this is why Libs are never, ever taken seriously about anything of substance.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

If you don't have something intelligent to contribute, please stop posting.

Posted by: XanderB


If I had something intelligent to say, why would I waste it on Liberals?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Mistake. Per my previous post, I misentered my numbers. If you don't factor in Barkley, TWO PERCENT, or about 500 hundred undervotes in the two party scenario gives the race to Franken.
If I were a betting man, I say it will be Senator Franken in a couple of weeks.

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | November 17, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

mikeb - I looked over your first article and found nothing about waiting lines or health care in general. what the article did say was that there is a severe shortage of doctors in Sweden and it is getting worse. there are virtually no specialists even if you need one. If anything really bad happens to you, you will have to travel very far to find someone who knows what they are doing. and this was all from your own article.

and you wonder why I resist the "swedish model" I prefer english speaking doctors who know what they are doing, not a Turkish nurse trying to learn some new things so she can head off to america.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Franken's books;

"Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Liar" and

"Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right"

should both be required reading for middle schoolers - since most republotards rarely make it past 8th grade.

Posted by: Heerman532 | November 17, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The Sturm and Drang doesn't matter much. MN is a model for our nation in how to conduct an election. It has a clear paper trail for every one of 3 Million votes and clear rules for how they are to be counted and by whom. After the recount one of these two men will be named the winner by the 5 member canvassing board, and while the loser may wish to sue, he will not win a suit.

In 1962, Elmer Andersen was initially certified the winner, but after a recount, Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag was declared the winner by 91 votes. Andersen did not sue and resigned after realizing that he had no legal basis to challenge the results. Tom Swain, Andersen's former chief of staff, said of the recount: "We found lots and lots of mistakes, but never anything improper." And I think Andersen said it best in a way that reflects the pride that many Minnesotans feel about this system: "The wonderful thing we learned in Minnesota was no fraud came in voting differences. The closest scrutiny indicated voting in Minnesota was honest."

That's how a statesman looks at this, and, in the end, I think Coleman and Franken will see it that way, too.

Posted by: stpaulsage | November 17, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

question: how do you disenfranchise a Republican voter?

answer: hold a fair election.

Posted by: robogobo | November 17, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

It's not hard to think of reasons why so many sensible voters would vote the top of the ticket and not vote for this "comedian". I still remember his disgusting portrayal on SNL decades ago - that of a bandaged brain tumor victim - playing for yuks at others' expense. He poorly represents himself and has no business representing anyone else.

Posted by: gtownsend1 | November 17, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, all - Do some basic reading. Here is a link to an article on health care systems and quality of service around the world - http://www.amsa.org/uhc/IHSprimer.pdf. This research, by the way, was funded by the American Medical Association. It, alas, rates your outed U.S. system, as filled with inequities and finds it one of the worst in the world.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 17, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk,

Go worship your GOP gods elsewhere. If you don't have something intelligent to contribute, please stop posting.

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

First of all, this recount is mandated by law, it is not being requested by anyone. Second, I am sure all of us would agree that the election should reflect the will of the people and not the problems with the voting system. I don't live in Minn. and I don't care who gets the job but I do care about how messed up our electoral system is.

As to the issues with health care. The US is in no position to be complaining about any other civilized country's health care system. The numbers clearly show that based on the most basic indicators our health care system works about as well as a third world country. Our statistics for infant mortality and longevity are awful, much worse than Sweden, UK, France, Canada, Germany and about 20 other countries with national health care systems.

As a scientist I like to quantify things rather than just wave my arms around. The fact of the matter is that our electoral system is nearly the worst in the civilized world. Carter once said that in his roles as a certifier of third world elections, he wouldn't be able to certify a US election because they are so poorly run. We like to say to ourselves. "well we may not be perfect in America but at least we do things better than other countries", but when it comes to elections and health care we are on the bottom of the list not the top.

Posted by: bjuhasz | November 17, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, should I beleive the nut job mikeb who promises free and easy health care for all if we just follow him down the primrose path or instead some basic research?

vote for me and the seas will begin to recede. you cultist know no bounds of irrationality. I visited Sweden once too. all I remember are the blondes.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Over 100 million home owners are one job loss away from losing their home. now is the time to demand that Democrats in congress lift all mortgage standards and require banks to loan to anyone who can sign their own name.

Oh wait - too late.

never mind.

can the rest of you pick up the tab for this? I am moving on to "free" health care for all now. then it's retirement accounts for non-workers and illegals. Aren't the Dems generous and kind?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - *LIVED* in Sweden. I visited there last summer. We have friends in Sweden. Their first hand accounts are of no waiting, nothing. No matter what the disease or injury, they receive care. Moreover, if you check the actual health facts about Sweden, such as this EU report - http://www.uemo.org/natsec/sweden.htm - you will find that health care is cheap and readily available. In fact, when I did some basic fact check for this post on the internet, the *only* criticism I could fins of their health care system was a U.S. industry smear by the National Policy Analysis group that obviously knows nothing about health care in Sweden and invents most of the data. The hack author, David Hogberg, is a right win nutcase that "normally" writes for the American Spectator but I'd bet if you paid him enough, he would write anything you wanted. Based on your post, I figure you're getting you "information" from him. Try reading something from someone who actually knows what they are talking about for a change.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 17, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's look at some numbers from another state for some perspective:

Texas had 8,053,036 votes in the presidential race, but only 7,895,258 in the Senate race (John Cornyn's seat). That's an undervote of 157,775 or 1.96%. And nobody is alleging anything wrong in Texas.

So, I have no doubt that an undervote of 25,000 in Minnesota (out of 2.9 million ballots) is perfectly reasonable. That's only 0.86%.

I never understand why people would vote in the Presidential race and not Senate, House, or local races, but that's their choice.
It's not a conspiracy just because "your" candidate lost by a slim margin.

Posted by: dsullivan1 | November 17, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

WE HAVE MORE TO DO:

Democrat Jim Martin is in a runoff against Bush Republican Saxby Chambliss for the Senate seat from Georgia. Bush's Saxby Chambliss voted against spending a few measly dollars to provide health care coverage for Georgia, and Americas needy children. But he supported wasting hundreds of billions of your dollars, and the life BLOOD of Americas finest on an unnecessary war in Iraq.

At a time when 47 million of you have no health insurance coverage, and over 100 million of you with insurance are just one major illness away from complete financial destruction. Bush and Saxby Chambliss voted to make the heart break of bankruptcy relief even harder for all of you to use.

You see, Bush and Saxby Chambliss, and his family don't have to worry about their health care coverage. They have the finest health care coverage your tax money can buy for them. Courtesy of you. The American Tax payer. In fact, no one but the super rich can afford the health care coverage you the tax payer provide for Saxby Chambliss, and his family for FREE! with your tax dollars.

He supposedly works for you. But he doesn't think you and your family should have access to the type of taxpayer supported FREE health care that you provide for him, and his loved ones for FREE!. Doesn't that just make you BURRING MAD!

Vote for JIM MARTIN for US senator from Georgia. Vote for JIM Martin who will be on your side. Vote for JIM MARTIN who will work with President Obama and a majority congress for you. Vote for JIM MARTIN most of all for your-self, your family's, friends, and loved ones. Vote for JIM MARTIN for a better America, and a better World.

Don't let Saxby Chambliss make a chump out of you by tricking you into voting against your own best interest. Saxby chambliss is NOT! on your side. He's not one of you. He is on George Bush's side. And we all know what a catastrophe the Bush Chambliss administration has been the past 8 years.

Contact all your family and friends and do every thing you can to see to it that JIM MARTIN and GEORGIANS! take that senate seat back for Georgia, and America. No matter where you live in America. This is important to you. President Obama will need all the help, and power you can give him to try and fix this catastrophic mess that the Corrupt Bush Chambliss administration has created.

As I said before you will have to vote in overwhelming numbers to overcome the Bush Chambliss "Let Them Eat Cake" vote fraud machine. Vote early if you can. Then help everyone you can get to the polls and vote for JIM MARTIN. You and your loved ones don't have to be Saxby Chambliss's victims anymore.

I know you will get it done. Just like you did for President Obama.

God bless all of you

jacksmith - WORKING CLASS... :-)

Posted by: JackSmith1 | November 17, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

As a Minnesotan, I am all for the recount. What irritates me more is our Governor Pawlenty goes on Fox TV and lies. He said 32 ballots were left in a trunk overnight. Never happened. Where is his apology to the hard working MN election officials?

Posted by: DavidH2 | November 17, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

dog: I am confident that Franken and his ACORN buds will employ selective recounts, interpretive counting, legalistic redefinition, disenfranchisement of probable R voters, especially the military and any other underhanded methods that al gore even forgot to try.

The attempt to steal the election in FL by recounting only Lib counties failed, only after extreme maniupulation by the liberal judiciary. even the NYTimes found it unwarranted after a time.

It is now clear that Libs will do anything to get into power but have no idea how to lead or govern once there. PeLousy thinks the congress is her own private piggy bank (with lipstick) meant to gain votes by income seeking special interest goons. Reid has not allowed debate in the Senate since he took over - a monarchy with him as Mad king Harry.

Obama is shaping up to be a typical chicago thug with scary reactions and a spate of neer-do-well friends emerging every day. Remember that the messiah only won with one more percentage point of population than W. and that was the Repubs who stayed home and refused to choose between a Lib and a Dem.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

For people invoking the Florida 2000 chad debacle, make sure you know the end of the story.

NORC did the year-long definitive study of the state wide ballots (Florida Ballots Project). They completed the study AFTER 9/11/2001, so nobody was particularly interested in the results. However, the majority of Florida voters casting votes in that election intended to elect Al Gore. That is using the chad criteria put forth by the Bush campaign and including the ballots from all counties. You can look it up in the study findings.

Why am I bringing this up? I didn't. Partisans on both sides constantly bring up Florida to justify their current gripe. It seems to me Republicans should stop doing that! Gore was RIGHT to contest that election, and the proof of that is a matter of record.

On the other hand, Bush did win the election, because recounts can't take a year! There has to be a legal process that gets followed so that a conclusion is reached. That is exactly what is happening in MN.

Posted by: ath28 | November 17, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Somehow this has gone from a story on the Minnesota recount to universal healthcare to liberals should keel over and die.

So what's the next topic? Joe Biden and hairplugs?

Posted by: dognabbit | November 17, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

poor people of this country just keeling over and dying.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It would be much preferred if this happened only to Libs.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"Ok, name me one position that Republicans take that shows that I'm wrong."

They enacted a law that gives all puppies a free neutering for their owners vote.

What? It's medically related!

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

conclusion - very simple - Mike b is FOS:

While Sweden is a first world country, its health care system - at least in regards to access - is closer to the third world. Because the health care system is heavily-funded and operated by the government, the system is plagued with waiting lists for surgery. Those waiting lists increase patients' anxiety, pain and risk of death.

Sweden's health care system offers two lessons for the policymakers of the United States. The first is that a single-payer system is not the answer to the problems faced as Americans. Sweden's system does not hold down costs and results in rationing of care. The second lesson is that market-oriented reforms must permit the market to work. Specifically, government should not protect health care providers that fail to provide patients with a quality service from going out of business.

When the United States chooses to reform its health care system, reform should lead to improvement. Reforming along the lines of Sweden would only make our system worse.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Despite the government promise that no one should have to wait more than three months for surgery, 60 percent of hip replacement patients waited longer than three months in 2003 (see Figure 2).21 Rather, Persson stood out because he was Prime Minister of Sweden at the time. Persson could surely have used his position in the government to gain access to private care, essentially jumping the waiting list. Yet Persson stated that he planned on waiting for his surgery like everyone else.
..

Sweden is one of several nations whose practices offer proof that single-payer health care systems lead to the proliferation of waiting lists. It also shows that waiting lists have adverse and sometimes tragic consequences for patients.

http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA555_Sweden_Health_Care.html

a simple search on swedish health care is quite contrary to your baselsss claims, as usual. but if Libs don;t have any facts, they just make it up.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"In this country we have medical "triage" where the wealthy and public employees receive excellent health care, but everyone else is loosing it or has already lost it."

That's exactly why koz and Republicans are against universal health care. They feel those that can't afford it are somehow morally deficient and are worthless pieces of scum. They would have no problem with the poor people of this country just keeling over and dying.

I'm wrong? Ok, name me one position that Republicans take that shows that I'm wrong.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 17, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

KOZ -
Every conservative tossed off dire warning about universal health carer and long waiting lines. First off, under *true* universal health care plans, such as Sweden and Denmark, there are no waiting lines. But, even that misses the point. In this country we have medical "triage" where the wealthy and public employees receive excellent health care, but everyone else is loosing it or has already lost it. DOC stats show that the number of WORKING American's without health is due to hit 100 million in 2009, considering current trends. That is about one in three U.S. citizens! Almost as bad, of those with private health care, half have such poor coverage that a serious disease or injury will result in instant bankruptcy. Essentially, in this free enterprise amusement park you tout so much, slight more than half of our citizens have virtually no access to procedures or medicines that ARE available, even in Britain. So, our real argument, at least for middle and lower income Americans, is, do you want to wait for access to care with a poor U.K. style health system or do you want to do without that care entirely (or, maybe, buy a lottery ticket and hope you hit the jackpot so you can afford that care like some Wall Street robber baron).

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 17, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"Is Fritz Knaack saying that something improper occurred in Florida in 2000?"

Yes. Such as the Dems relentless efforts to disqualify the military votes from overseas.

Such as the improper efforts to count non-votes as votes.

Such as the Dem effort to perform the recount in private in violation of the law.

Posted by: Fred8 | November 17, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

There are over 25,000 ballots where a vote was recorded for President, but not Senator. There are three possible reasons:

a) People weren't interested in the most hotly contested Senate seat in the state's history, so they didn't even vote for the Independent candidate who got 15%.

b) People didn't properly mark their ballots.

c) The machine didn't read the ballot properly.

I would think "C" more so than "B" and "C" and B" more than "A." The AP, which surveyed the results by county found that most of the 25,000+ undervotes came from a relatively few number of voting districts... making the case of C, and to a lesser extent B.

Given that the undervote breaks 18,000+ voted for Obama and 7,000+ voted for McCain, that means if rougly 20 percent of these 25,000 undervotes did vote, and did so along party lines, then Al Franken wins.

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | November 17, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Basmon repeatedly asks "How do you determine voter intent?" You look at the ballot and see if it is marked but somehow didn't register. Maybe they only partally filled in the box. Maybe there is a smudge mark on the page. How can you determine another Republican voter suppression attempt? By questioning the process and offering up false suggestions that anyone might consider counting an Obama vote for Franken when no vote is cast in the Senatorial race. The idea of winning elections by actually counting all the votes just isn't in the GOP lexicon these days, is it?

Posted by: nysteveo2 | November 17, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey conspiracy folks - there was always going to be a recount because this was always a close race. Both Coleman and Franken's final count has gone up since election day with the initial audit, it's just that Franken's has gone up a tiny bit more. But, if Franken had gotten 207 votes to put him ahead by 1 vote, there would still be a manditory recount. If Franken had gotten 10,000 more votes, by law, there would still be a manditory recount. Anyone who screams conspiracy is over playing their hand. Calm down.

Posted by: CW-StPaul | November 17, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

They say they're gonna have a recount
I say go, go, go
Whether it's Al
Or whether it's Norm
We'll know, know, know

Can anyone think of the next verse?

Posted by: dognabbit | November 17, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

How many boxes of previously uncounted ballots will mysteriously appear? Just enough for Franken to win. Bet on it!

Posted by: guythompto | November 17, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

How about this. You get every Minnesotan in a large venue, and then have them raise their hand if they want Franken and Coleman. Then, have people count the number of hands raised. Sound like a ridiculous way of doing things? Well, this is essentially how the recount is done. Picture each ballot being an individual in that stadium with their hand raised. Now picture all the ballots there. Kind of hard to count hands huh? This is going to draw on longer than a recount, that much I can guarantee. This is just one more piece of evidence that our current voting system is outdated and is in serious need of retooling. We have the technology available to us, so why do we still use this archaic method?

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"If Franken wins, we should just cede the entire state over to Canada. the voters have clearly failed the seriousness test"

Ventura on Franken:

"He talks about attending Harvard. Well, I taught there."

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 17, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

London - Jack Rosser's doctor says taking Pfizer Inc.'s Sutent cancer drug may keep him alive long enough to see his 1-year-old daughter, Emma, enter primary school. The U.K.'s National Health Service says that's not worth the expense. Rosser, 57, was told the cost of Sutent, 3,140 pounds ($4,650) per treatment for his advanced kidney cancer, was too high for the NHS -- the government agency that funds the nation's health care.

coming soon - Obamacare. Take two asperin, get in line and hurry up and die.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

If Franken wins, we should just cede the entire state over to Canada. the voters have clearly failed the seriousness test.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"How do you determine "voter intent"? If there's a ballot for Obama with no Senator chosen, does the vote go to Franken?"

That's a good question. The answer to the latter is 'no'. If there are no marks on the ballot, nobody gets the vote. It gets more complicated from there. For instance, if two candidates' ovals are filled, but one candidate's name is crossed out & the other circled, the rules say the circled candidate gets the vote. A partially marked oval might not register in a machine count, but would legally reflect a voter's intent for the purposes of a recount. There are more examples, if you click the link provided by The Fix.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 17, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"Coleman's biggest edge heading into the recount is that he is ahead, narrowly but ahead nonetheless. It matters both practically and symbolically; voters tend to lose interest in an election rapidly once it ends and a lack of attention and interest would accrue to Coleman's benefit."

Huh? Its hard to see how voters' interest (or lack thereof) will be beneficial (or not) to either candidate. The votes are going to be re-counted & the candidate who has more votes will be declared the winner. Where things will get dicey is in whether the loser chooses then to use the courts to challenge the results of the recount. Even then, it is unclear that voters' perceptions will have an impact on the outcome.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 17, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

They tried to run a fair recount in FL also.

How do you determine "voter intent"? If there's a ballot for Obama with no Senator chosen, does the vote go to Franken?

Posted by: AbolhassanBaniSadr | November 17, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

GAWD! The GOP/Coleman are mindless pukes. How can they, with a straight face, claim they don't want to have happen in Minnesota/2008 what happened in Florida/2000? Who benefited from the FU in Florida - the GOP.

I'm all for a fair recount, so should anyone in favor of democracy. That the GOP/Coleman are fascists should be obvious to anyone!

Posted by: Roofelstoon | November 17, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"It's not a conspiracy, it's a recount. Enough with the nonsense.

Posted by: jgoodfri1971"

Hear, hear! The recount is mandated by state law; it's not optional, for either candidate. So quit the posturing and run a fair recount.

Posted by: thrh | November 17, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Before this recount begins, Minnesotans must have confidence that the Franken campaign's Florida style tactics will be rejected with vigor by the courts and by the Secretary of State's Office," said Fritz Knaack, senior counsel to the Coleman campaign. "There is no need for any of this to be going on in our state."
********************************************

Is Fritz Knaack saying that something improper occurred in Florida in 2000? *gasp*

Posted by: KansasDem | November 17, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

It's not a conspiracy, it's a recount. Enough with the nonsense.

Posted by: jgoodfri1971 | November 17, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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