Minnesota recount

Can voters really be disenfranchised just because some election-day worker sorted their ballots into the wrong pile?

Just askin’:

Is there any actual argument in law or reason for not counting validly cast votes that were rejected in error?

In a race that seems to be within a couple of dozen votes one way or the other, if there are 1,000 or even 2,000 such valid ballots not yet counted, likely to tilt toward Franken because he apparently led in absentee voting overall, then that’s likely to be all she wrote.

My non-expert impression is that the Coleman campaign is acting in a slightly reality-challenged manner here. The more unreasonable the positions they take – and its hard to get more unreasonable than “Let’s not count the ballots that were rejected through no fault of the voters but simply because some election worker goofed” – the easier it’s going to be for Harry Reid to decide that the Senate needs to act on its Constitutional duty to judge the returns of its own members.

Update The Minnestota Canvassing Board, which includes two (Republican) members of the Staet Supreme Court, unanimously agreed: votes not counted due to official mistake should be counted. That decision came two days after Chief Power Tool John Hinderaker opined that “Franken’s effort is doomed to failure.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com