Tags: acorn | minnesota | coleman

ACORN Registrations May Tilt Minnesota Tally

Monday, 10 Nov 2008 05:07 PM

By Phil Brennan

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ACORN’s scandal-ridden voter registration campaign filed more than 43,000 new registration forms in Minnesota this year, raising concerns about the ultimate outcome of the Sen. Norm Coleman-Al Franken battle beyond the wire.

That registration tally of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now accounted for 75 percent of all new registrations in the Gopher State, where Republican Coleman’s lead over his Democratic challenger has slipped from 725 votes out of about 2.9 million cast Nov. 4 to 204 Monday. That original slim margin triggered an automatic recount that is to start Nov. 19.

The closing gap is resulting from the fact that election officials in certain precincts are correcting alleged typo graphical errors in reported vote results, according to John Lott, writing for Fox News. Those corrections supposedly gave 435 additional votes to Franken and took 69 votes from Coleman, Lott wrote.

Strangely, corrections posted in other races "were only a fraction of those for the Senate where gains for Franken were 2.5 times the gain for Obama in the presidential race count, 2.9 times the total gain that Democrats got across all Minnesota congressional races, and five times the net loss that Democrats suffered for all state House races," Lott wrote.

Raising more eyebrows was the fact that almost all of Franken’s new votes came from just three out of 4,130 precincts, and almost half the gain (246 votes) occurred in one precinct: Two Harbors, a small town north of Duluth along Lake Superior. That is a heavily Democratic precinct where Obama received 64 percent of the vote, and where the vote tallies were not changed for any other races, Lott reported.

This single precinct’s corrections accounted for a significantly larger net swing in votes between the parties than occurred for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, or state house races, Lott wrote.

Two other precincts — Mountain Iron in St. Louis County and Partridge Township in Pine County — accounted for another 100 votes each.

"The change in each precinct was half as large as the pickup for Obama from the corrections for the entire state," Lott noted, adding that the Minneapolis Star Tribune attributed these types of mistakes to “exhausted county officials.”

Although that might be true, the sizes of the errors in these three precincts are surprisingly large, Lott said.

"The 504 total new votes for Franken from all the precincts is greater than adding together all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, and state house races combined,” Lott wrote. "It was also true that precincts that gave Obama a larger percentage of the vote were statistically more likely to make a correction that helped Franken."

Lott contended that an Associated Press story with the headline “Most Minn. Senate ‘undervotes’ are from Obama turf” misinformed readers about what undervotes really imply. The Minneapolis Star Tribune headline similarly claimed "An analysis of ballots that had a vote for president but no vote for U.S. senator could have recount implications."

Lott concluded that it appears to be too much of a coincidence that Minnesota's one tight race just happens to be the race with the most "corrected" votes by far.

"The real travesty will be to start letting election officials divine voter's intent,” he wrote. “If you want to discourage people from voting, election fraud is one sure way of doing it."

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