Opinion: Coleman-Franken Minn. Senate race comes down to votes of several dolts


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Even with Florida 2000 on our minds, maybe you too couldn’t understand what’s the big deal about still counting ballots three full weeks after the Nov. 4 voting.

Thanks to Minnesota Public Radio, we can all at least partially understand now the predicament of the poor election judges trying to decipher what in the world many Minnesota voters had in mind -- or if they had one when they voted.


You’d think with millions of votes, a few dozen knuckleheads wouldn’t matter much one way or the other.

But it now appears these dimwits could actually be the deciding factor in determining not only the Minnesota Senate race but also whether the Democrats achieve their coveted Republican-proof majority of 60 seats there.

Professional comedian Al Franken, the Democrat, and professional politician Norm Coleman, the Republican incumbent, are separated by a very few votes.

The deciding challenged votes could include:

-- One with the circle properly filled in but a thumbprint on another candidate’s name, possibly interpreted as an identifying imprint that would disqualify the vote;

-- A ballot with ‘No’ written by one name and another marked in;

-- A ballot with one name marked but a little arrow pointing up to another candidate.

This is not unlike stowing bags in the overhead bins of airplanes, which a few million of us are going to be doing here in a day or two.

What is so hard about that or voting? You put the bags in the bin and shut the cover. You darken one circle next to your chosen candidate.

If the suitcase did not fit in your car trunk or if two adults can’t lift it, the bag is unlikely to fit overhead in a 737. It’s also understood that when voting for one candidate, you don’t prefer all the others. Comments not necessary.


So, click on the ‘Read more’ line below and see some amazing samples of ballots cast by real-live Minnesotans. No wonder the Lakers left there.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of votes, cast yours online simply by registering here for free cellphone alerts of each new Ticket item.

Photo credits: Associated Press (Franken/Coleman); MPR (below).

This ballot was challenged by the Franken campaign, which claimed the vote for Coleman had been crossed out.

At first glance this ballot looks OK, right? But wait. Is that a vote mark up by Dean Barkley’s name? Coleman’s crowd says yes.

Hmm, it looks like someone left a smudge by Al’s name after or before marking Dean’s name. So, who gets the count?