Thursday, December 18, 2008
The MN voting system actually is good. When overseas ballots and machine unreadable absentee ballots are received, a duplicate ballot is made, under very specific guidelines. The number of ballots marked as "duplicate" is supposed to be equal to the number of original ballots. Sometimes, the originals are lost (as in Lakeville P-10) but in the vast majority of cases, the number of originals and duplicates matched.
For most precincts the recount does find an equal number of duplicates and originals. But what do you do when the numbers do not match? In Dakota County, where I observed the entire process, Secretary Ritchie changed the rules multiple times. First, the recount was to count ballots that went through the machine, the duplicates; then originals; then the two party representatives were to agree on which set was to be counted. In addition to the changing rules, it appeared the Franken people knew in advance what was going to happen. Now, this last point could have been because they had better communication or maybe some other reason????
As the Dems argue, A is harmed if his vote is improperly rejected; but voter B is equally harmed if A's vote is counted twice. Therefore, you cannot count originals and duplicates. Heck, if this request is granted, any other close race in the state should have the same rules applied.