Next week, probably over a four day period, the ad hoc State Canvassing Board will go through all the recount data and look at the 3-4 thousand contested ballots and come up with a final number in this very close Minnesota senate race. But today they are expected to make a couple of decisions that may have an even larger effect on the outcome.

One of the most important decisions they will make today is what to do about the 133 ballots that are “missing” (read: a Coleman supporter hid somewhere, most likely) in one Minneapolis district. Without these votes in a Franken-supporting area, Franken drops by dozens of points relative to Coleman. The most logical and fair thing to do is to take the original count, which in all liklihood is the same as the count before they were stolen, er, I mean, accidentally turned up missing (in a way that benefits the candidate most closely associated with known felons and cheater).

Congressmen Keith Ellison has written a strong letter to the canvassing board recommending that they take this particular course of action. (The text of the letter can be read here.)

The canvassing board will also decide on the fate of what may be a very large number of absentee ballots that seem to have been improperly uncounted.


  1. #1 Sigmund
    December 12, 2008

    How do you know that it wasn’t just a miscount in the first instance?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    December 12, 2008

    I think they think it is a missing packet, not just a wrong number. Besides, that (133) would be unprecedented as a miscount. Virtually impossible.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    December 12, 2008

    OK, I just checked with someone who knows this stuff … yes, there are specific packets given numbers and logged and such, and one of them is gone. It is not just number that is off.

  4. #4 Sigmund
    December 12, 2008

    Presumably if they have the original results and the recount results for this district then they can already work out the proportion of votes for each candidate contained in the 133 missing ballots. If its equal then if won’t make any difference in the end. If it’s a higher proportion for Franken at least they will know exactly the damage the 133 missing samples represents.

  5. #5 Ana
    December 12, 2008

    Sigmund –
    Nate Silver has a good reckoning, with help from The Uptake, of these 133 ballots and why it is clear that they were machine-counted on election day and that they are missing now:

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    December 12, 2008

    Yes, this is a totally straight forward case. Only a megalomaniacal nut case who has no interest in Democracy and only cares about his own power would even think about objecting to using the counted vote here.

  7. #7 Ana
    December 12, 2008

    Um…seems the Coleman camp is quite comfortable acing from the position of “megalomaniacal nut case who has no interest in Democracy and only cares about his own power”. I did not expect them to keep pushing to disallow the missing votes, but there it is, papers filed…