Minnesota's Senate race in last week's election ended with Senator Norm Coleman leading Al Franken by a little over 700 votes. Close, but a clear win.
"Exhausted county officials" (Minneapolis Star Tribune (November 7, 2008)) have been, ah, correcting 'typos' in the votes they sent in. The corrections just happen to favor Al Franken: 435 votes added to Franken, 69 taken from Coleman.
Almost all of Franken's new votes are from three of Minnesota's 4,130 precincts.
Half of Franken's windfall was in in Two Harbors, a Democratic precinct that favored Obama. Oddly, all the mistakes in that precinct were in the Senatorial race.
County officials in three counties may have been exhausted. Officials in that one very democratic Duluth-area precinct may have just happened to miss hundreds of votes for the Democratic senatorial candidate, and have no other errors at all.
Coincidences do happen.
Still, today's reassuring Star-Tribune headline isn't having quite that effect on me. And, I can't help but notice that the statistically-improbable Minnesota 'corrections' aren't making much of a splash in the news.
I suppose that a Minnesota senatorial race with peculiar coincidences isn't as newsworthy as Florida's 'hanging chads' race, back in 2000. It's a Senate seat, after all, not the White House, that's involved.
The op-ed writer made a good point, though. Rigged elections, or elections with wildly improbable 'corrections,' do not generally encourage people to vote.
Me? I don't have much choice. I have to study the candidates, and cast a reasoned vote.
But the sort of shenanigans that seem to be going on in Minnesota aren't helping me feel good about it.
- "For Ritchie, keeping recount nonpartisan is main goal"
Minneapolis Star Tribune (November 10, 2008)
- "Latest tally in Franken, Coleman Senate race shows 204-vote spread"
Boston Herald (November 10, 2008)
- "Tension escalates as recount fluctuates"
Minneapolis Star Tribune (November 7, 2008)
- "Minnesota Ripe for Election Fraud"
Opinion, John R. Lott Jr., FOXNews (November 10, 2008)