Don't Let Them Steal --THIS-- Election (12/12/08)
A U.S. Senate seat hangs in the balance. Voting rights are at stake. As Minnesotans trudge forward through a difficult recount, the attention of the rest of the national newsmedia has moved on to the bailouts, bribery, and other bad news. Unless you live in Minnesota, chances are you've found it difficult to follow the latest news regarding this ongoing election dispute.
Fortunately, No More Stolen Elections! has been monitoring Minnesota for you, and we can offer you a way to make a positive difference in the recount there. If you haven't checked out the NoMoreStolenElections.org website recently, you'll have missed Joseph Lindstrom's updates on the situation.
On November 25th, Lindstrom reported that:
The mood of the recount and the comportment of each campaign--having started as generally collegial and respectful of the democratic process--has rapidly escalated into a posturing war. Dueling press conferences are happening at least once per day, as each side claims to be gaining. More specifically, both sides are challenging an increasing number of ballots, perhaps frivolously so as to appear to be in the lead at the end of the recount. Senator Coleman, in particular, is hoping to be leading after the Election Day count, AND the recount so that any actions taken by the Canvassing Board would be easily discredited should Franken turn out to be the winner.
--> For the rest, see http://www.nomorestolenelections.org/news/minnesota_ballot_challenges
Then, on December 3rd, the report was that:
The public comments from the two sides have grown increasingly acrimonious and occasionally ridiculous. In particular, conservatives are employing a strategy of making Al Franken's interest in seeing the recount completed as a petty power-grab by a Hollywood elitist who should not be trusted. The suggestion is that Franken will push forward with legal challenges, and will not stop until he is the unquestioned leader, and that a more patriotic individual would simply concede. These accusations are being made despite the fact that Senator Coleman himself has admitted that he was wrong to ask Franken to step aside.
Just the other day, on the 8th, Lindstrom told us:
Following the recount process that's going on in Minnesota can be a confusing endeavor, but it can now be said that the administrative recount is done with the exception of some lost ballots in Minneapolis. While searching for the missing ballots, the same precinct did find a plastic bag containing 12 uncounted absentee ballots which will be added to the total number of ballots to be considered by the state canvassing board. One gets the impression that Minneapolis could have had a tighter operation on election day. Perhaps the best way to understand what's going on is to become familiar with some key numbers.
The recount moves today, December 12, to the Minnesota State Canvassing Board, where, all other things being equal, it would normally end. What --should-- happen next is a complete review by the Canvassing Board of the 6,655 ballots challenged by the two campaigns in the county recounts, along with the reconsideration of up to 12,000 absentee ballots rejected by county officials, resulting in a clear victor.
What is --likely-- to happen next is a court battle, followed and accompanied by a struggle over whether the U.S. Senate should determine the victor of the Minnesota Senate race, or whether that decision should be left to a special election of Minnesota voters.
A vital voting rights principle is now at stake. As the State Canvassing Board moves ahead to examine the 6,655 challenged ballots, and to reconsider the rejection of 12,000 absentee ballots, Minnesota's voter intent standard (in which election officials count poorly-marked ballots that, nonetheless, clearly demonstrate the intent of the voter) will be under the gun. The Coleman campaign will pressure election officials to adopt a new, strict standard that invalidates improperly marked ballots, even where the intent of the voter is clear.
We can't allow that to happen. For one thing, standards that ignore voter intent usually end up discriminating against low-income, elderly, and young voters. For another, the intentions of the voters, not the design of ballots, are what democratic elections are all about.
Please take a few minutes to write a short letter to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Tell Minnesotans that you support their existing vote-counting rules: that voter intent should continue to be honored. Tell them that their Recount matters to all of us, not just because their Senator sits in our Senate, but because their voting rights strengthen our voting rights. And tell them that you want Minnesota to continue to be a leader --true to its North Star heritage-- in protecting our democratic way of life.
Please send your letters to the Star-Tribune at: