Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Norm Coleman Squeezes Out A Thin Win In Minn.

(Update: 11/11 at 11:30 am.) as of yesterday afternoon, the final totals were posted at the Secretary of State's website, located here.

Until the recount actually begins later in the month, the race will stand as is, at 206 votes in favor of Norm Coleman. All "preliminary" changes and adjustments had to be sent in to the Secretary of State by yesterday, 11/10. We waited until mid-day today to be certain all final adjustments were posted on their website, before posting this as the "final" number before the recount begins.

This article by John Lott, published by Fox, nicely sums up some of the inherent problems associated with the vote in Minnesota this year, and the peculiar problems that have surfaced during the initial "corrections" phase that ended yesterday. This, before the recount begins later this month! And note the conclusion:
With ACORN filing more than 43,000 registration forms this year, 75 percent of all new registrations in the state, Minnesota was facing vote fraud problems even before the election. Even a small percentage of those registrations resulting in fraudulent votes could tip this election.

To many, it just seems like too much of a coincidence that Minnesota's one tight race just happens to be the race with the most "corrected" votes by far. But the real travesty will be to start letting election officials divine voter's intent. If you want to discourage people from voting, election fraud is one sure way of doing it.
We will have more on the topic of election day activities later.

(Update: 11/06 at 2:22 11/07 3:50.)
The current difference on Friday, at 3:50 PM, between Coleman and Franken
is 337 239 votes.
It has been holding steady most of the day. More to come in a new post later.

Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman seems to have held on against the Democrat tide. Norm appears to have very narrowly edged out and defeated former comedian Al Franken in an extremely tight race for the United States Senate seat.

According to a CNN electronic tally, calculated after 100% of all precincts had been reported, the difference between the two men was a mere 571 votes! Update: That has since changed. The current difference now (11/07 4 PM) stands at 239 votes. See final paragraph below.

The Minnesota Secretary of State's Unofficial tally, as of 8:43.16 am Wednesday morning, indicated that all 4130 of 4130 precincts had reported, and that all 87 of 87 counties had complete numbers recorded. The Sec'y of State's vote tally listed Coleman as winning by 726 votes. Update: After reconciling totals and checked information sent them, the Secretary of State's tally (as of 2:20 Pm on 11/06) now stands at a mere 33 vote difference, with 1,211,527 votes recorded for Coleman, and 1,211,190 votes recorded for Franken. Both of their totals have flucuated a bit since the AP published a story about the recount yesterday, 11/05 at 5:23 pm. Update: Going into the weekend, and following a spate of corrections from around the State of Minnesota, the current difference is 239 votes. IMPORTANT: See also, this post from John at Powerline. There may be some indications of fraud -- see his update.
UPDATE: Hot off the press, the first apparent evidence of fraud. Last night at around 7:30, a precinct in Mountain Iron, St. Louis County, mysteriously updated its vote total to add 100 new votes--all 100 for Barack Obama and Al Franken.

Mountain Iron uses optical scanning, so the Coleman campaign asked for a copy of the tape documenting the ballots cast on election night. St. Louis County responded by providing a tape that includes the newly-added 100 votes, and is dated November 2--the Sunday before the election. St. Louis County reportedly denies being able to produce the genuine tape from election night, even though Minnesota law, as I understand it, requires that tape to be signed by the election judges and publicly displayed.
The CNN ticker and the Minnesota Sec'y of State's Office each claims to have 100% of the vote recorded for all three of the major candidates in the race -- Norm Coleman, Al Franken and Dean Barkley, but apparently small mathematical errors are being caught and reflected in the totals.

They both still agree that the winner by a hair is Norm Coleman! Update: The CNN ticker and the Sec'y of State's Office now have identical totals for the top three candidates, i.e., Coleman, Franken and Barkley. The Sec'y of State's office has some additional detail about minor candidates, including the Libertarian Party, and the Constitution Party candidates, as well as several write-in candidates.

Because of the tightness of the race, there will reportedly be an automatic recount, as the margin between the two will certainly be less that 1/2 of 1% of the vote. That, according to a 3:00 am story , later updated, and published in the Minneapolis paper, the Star Tribune. The two men held identical percentages of roughly 42% throughout the late evening, and on into the early hours of the morning, while Independence Party candidate, Dean Barkley, pulled a steady 15% of the vote throughout the evening.

The Star Tribune reported early on Wednesday morning that Coleman was the apparent winner, but they incorrectly reported that the margin was 601 votes. According to the Sec'y of State, Coleman received 1,211,627 votes, while Franken received 1,210,901 votes. Clearly, the difference is 726 votes. The Star Tribune also reports that Franken says will exercise his right to a recount. Update: 11/06 at 2:20 pm. The difference is now 239 votes. with Coleman having received 1,211,540 votes, and Franken having received 1,211,301 votes. Those have held steady much of the day friday (11/07).

And as the count came down to the wire, at about 5:15 am the results tabulator that CNN had posted on the web, showed the late returns were giving Coleman just a bit of a boost, at one point with a lead of 2,591 votes, out of a total of 2,844,571 that had been counted at that point -- i.e., the totals for all three candidates. But with only what we estimated as a little more than 13,000 votes remaining to be included in the totals for the three men, Franken was running out of potential votes to draw from in order to close the gap with Coleman.

Given the fact that Barkley was pulling a steady 15% of the vote, what it meant was that Coleman and Franken would have about 11,150 remaining votes that would be split between them. So making up 2,591 votes just seemed a bit too difficult at that point. Al would have had to get over 60% of the remaining votes, and that was not likely to happen.

As of an update on the CNN ticker at 5:58 am, Norm's lead had slightly increased to 3,753, with an 2,848,924 votes counted for all three. With there likely being only another 9,000 or so votes remaining to be included in the total for all three, Franken's chances of catching Coleman were fading very fast, even if the Democrats were holding back really good precincts.

We concluded with likely less than about 8,000 remaining votes to be split between the two leaders, the race could narrow significantly, but would not likely turn around.

A few of Al's best precincts were then reported with an update on the CNN ticker at 6:26 am, which closed the gap down to a breath-takingly close 676 votes. But since 2,857,578 total votes had been counted for the three leading contenders, and it was becoming less and less likely Franken could catch Coleman. By 8 am, a few more votes were added and the gap was up to 762 votes. The final few numbers favored Franken, but only brought him to 571.

The final total tally for the three contenders, according to the CNN ticker was 2,858,500 votes, very close to what we guessed as we were trying to project what would happen using the CNN running ticker. The Minnesota Sec'y of State's Office indicated that 2,859,836 votes were cast for those three candidates. Update: The Sec'y of State's Office now shows that a total of 2,860,095 votes were cast for just those three men. Including all minor candidates and write-ins, a total of 2,885,259 ballots were cast in that Senate race in Minnesota.

Update: After reconciling totals and checked information sent them, the Secretary of State's tally now stands at a mere 239 vote difference, with 1,211,540 votes recorded for Coleman, and 1,211,301 votes recorded for Franken. At a distant third, Dean Barkley received 437,377 votes. The last update of theirs that we examined was at 2:50:08 pm on 11/07. Both of the two leaders' totals have fluctuated a bit inn the past two days, but have held steady this afternoon. Just after noon yesterday, Franken's total reflected that 100 vote pickup -- from 1,211,089 to 1,211,189. Sometime yesterday, Coleman's total showed a 100 vote drop, from 1,211,627 down to 1,211,527. Thus, there have been several minor fluctuations in the totals of each.

Thus, the CNN ticker and the Sec'y of State's Office each claims to have 100% of the vote recorded for all three of the major candidates in the race -- Norm Coleman, Al Franken and Dean Barkley. And they both agree that the winner by 239 votes is Norm Coleman. Both have identical totals for the top three candidates, i.e., Coleman, Franken and Barkley. The recount is a certainty, according to Franken.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home