It's common for vote totals to be adjusted slightly after the election to correct for any errors in reporting votes. Typically those errors will be reflected across the board for all candidates in the state.
But when you find "corrections" overwhelmingly favoring one candidate and coming from only a handful of voting precincts fraud is clearly suspected.
Minnesota Ripe for Election FraudAnyone else notice that these kinds of voter irregularities almost never favor Republicans?
By John R. Lott Jr.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Minnesota is becoming to 2008 politics what Florida was in 2000 or Washington State in 2004 -- a real mess. The outcome will determine whether Democrats get 58 members of the U.S. Senate, giving them an effective filibuster-proof vote on many issues.
When voters woke up on Wednesday morning after the election, Senator Norm Coleman led Al Franken by what seemed like a relatively comfortable 725 votes. By Wednesday night, that lead had shrunk to 477. By Thursday night, it was down to 336. By Friday, it was 239. Late Sunday night, the difference had gone down to just 221 -- a total change over 4 days of 504 votes.
Amazingly, this all has occurred even though there hasn’t even yet been a recount. Just local election officials correcting claimed typos in how the numbers were reported. Counties will certify their results today, and their final results will be sent to the secretary of state by Friday. The actual recount won’t even start until November 19.
Correcting these typos was claimed to add 435 votes to Franken and take 69 votes from Coleman. Corrections were posted in other races, but they were only a fraction of those for the Senate. The Senate 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 5 times the net loss that Democrats suffered for all state House races.
Virtually all of Franken’s new votes came from just three out of 4130 precincts, and almost half the gain (246 votes) occurred in one precinct -- Two Harbors, a small town north of Duluth along Lake Superior -- a heavily Democratic precinct where Obama received 64 percent of the vote. None of the other races had any changes in their vote totals in that precinct.
To put this change in perspective, that 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.
The 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.
Indeed, 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 (a sum of 482). 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.
Who is counting these ballots anyway?