Sunday, November 30, 2008
"...no voter is disenfranchised" is in complete opposition to the behavior I witnessed at the recount in Dakota County, MN's third largest county. I was a floor lead the entire recount process - one where more than 226,000 votes were recounted by hand. There were a few problems - some of which will be discussed in later posts. For now, I will address two:
MN has electronic voting whereby voters identify their choice by filing in an oval next to the name of the candidate. This is done with a special ink pen provided by the precinct or with pencil. Both can be read by the voting machine. Extremely questionable challenges included the following:
1 - When a spot no larger than a pencil dot, a pen rest most likely, appeared in a Franken oval, even when Barkley or Coleman ovals were totally filled in, the Democrats (DFL) claimed "vote for Franken; voter intent unclear; a non-Coleman/Barkley vote." This was their excuse for a challenge.This type of irresponsible behavior was led by Democrats. After multiple requests by the Dakota County recount election official to back off these kinds of challenges (and all requests were simply ignored by the DFL), the Dems were berated publicly more than once - to no avail. Result? The Coleman team had to begin to make the same type of challenges in self-defense; otherwise, an unexpected, adverse ruling could potentially lead to a disastrous swing.
2 - If there was a stray mark anywhere on the ballot, a pen scribble, an "X" when all other voting marks were completed ovals, the DFL claimed that these were "identifying marks" and the ballot should be discounted.
If the Democrats were serious about disenfranchisement (as Mr. Reid insists) these ballots never would have been challenged. It would have been responsible of the DFL to direct their observers to use common sense and honesty in making their challenges. As it was, DFL observers refused to change their tactics. Theoretically all these "challenged" ballots could be accepted and voters would be disenfranchised. My belief, based on Dakota County and talking to peers in other counties, the vast majority of the so-called 5000+ challenged ballots will be counted as valid votes.
When you look at behavior, the empty Democratic rhetoric of "count every ballot" becomes "make every possible challenge to try to disenfranchise Coleman voters while counting every Franken ballot," whether a legitimate vote or not.
Don't be fooled by the blatant propaganda.