So Minnesota’s court system is oh-so-slowly processing the appeals in the recount of the 2008 Senate race, and only delaying the inevitable Al Franken victory, right?
Er, wait a minute . . .
Minnesota Majority employed a data enhancement service to flag potentially deceased individuals on Minnesota’s voter registration file. Over 2,800 individuals who voted in the 2008 general election were flagged as being “deceased” prior to the election. Minnesota Majority then selected a sample of a dozen records for additional investigation. A representative drove to addresses listed on voter registration records. Interviews conducted with residents or neighbors confirmed that at least 5 individuals from the sample were deceased, the latest having died in March 2007.
Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann said that the records of the 5 dead voters were erroneously updated with a vote history by election workers and were not examples of fraud.
“The first problem with their explanation is that there should not even be deceased individuals on the voter rolls”, said Jeff Davis, president of Minnesota Majority.
Minnesota statute 201.13 says that the commissioner of health is to provide the secretary of state with a monthly report of residents who have died. The secretary of state is then responsible for working with county auditors to update voter registration records to flag the records of deceased individuals.
“The second problem with the secretary of state’s explanation is that it basically acknowledges the lack of controls in the way in which voter history updates are being captured and recorded,” said Davis. “If the proper controls had been in place, this situation would not have occurred.”
Keep in mind, Franken’s lead is 312 votes.
At the very least, it would be useful to know the vote breakdown of these 2,800 or so votes. If they’re mostly for Norm Coleman, this is pretty much moot. But if Franken has a majority — even a 55.6 percent to 44.4 percent split in his favor, then the dead determined the winner of this race, raising epic questions of Minnesota’s management of its elections.