July 17, 2010

Silence About the All-Important Felon Vote

Justin Katz

If you get your news from a mainstream media source, you might not have heard — as Dan Gifford notes — about the apparent likelihood that Senator Al Franken (D., MN) was elected based on the illegal votes of felons:

  • A conservative watchdog group Minnesota Majority has gone through voting records reportedly finding that at least 341 convicted felons voted illegally in just two of Minnesota's 87 counties during the 2008 general election. Undoubtedly other felons voted illegally in other counties.
  • After culling through 500 initial allegations of felons illegally voting, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office told The Minneapolis Star Tribune Monday that they are seriously investigating about 180 cases. Another 28 felons have already been charged. Hennepin county, which includes Minneapolis, winnowed 451 initial cases down to 216 that they are still looking at. Some other felons have already been charged. Both the Ramsey and Hennepin county attorneys are Democrats.

Franken won by 312 votes. Liberals will note that the news above comes via Fox News, which in their minds instantly invalidates it; that which is not reported by an alphabet channel does not actually happen. Of course, that's why non-liberals correctly understand Fox News to be the most balanced of the television news options.

Gifford suggests that even liberal Democrats like most journalists ought to find interest in the Franken voter fraud case, inasmuch as Franken cannot be ousted from office, at this point, and they could cast the story toward advocacy of allowing felons to vote legally. Unfortunately, shedding light on the matter might make voters elsewhere suspicious, conservative watchdog groups across the country might begin researching the results in their own states, and bloggers and alternative information sources might rack up more scoops.

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This seems like one of those issues, while on face value seems valid, but upon much thought falls apart. The premise that Franken won by the illegal convicted felon vote assumes that all of said felons did indeed vote for him (which would seem next to impossible). It assumes that no felons wrote in a candidate, voted for Norm Coleman, any third party/ind, and properly filled out their ballot. In addition, the claim that these 200-300 illegal ballots would determine the election is fault reasoning. Can anyone doubt that more dead people, people who currently live out of state but had residence in Minn. at some point, or voters who voted without proper voter role status voted than those illegal felons? Look at Rhode Island, see how many over the age of 100 voters who haven't been above ground the 80s cast ballots in the 06-08 primaries and generals. The case can be made that hundreds, if not thousands for certain states, of ballots are cast illegally each election. To pick out one case, against one party, and use it to say the media or anyone else is conducting a blackout is foolish. These things happen all the time and it cuts across party lines. The claim that fox news is "balanced" for covering this is wishful thinking and an off balance criticism of the mainstream media (at what point does Fox enter the mainstream given its popularity and influence). Fox News (and most other msm outlets) ignored the majority of the 2000 Florida recount issues and the 2004 Ohio diabold machine controversy, which had much more considerable impact than a few hundred alleged felon voters in a senate race. Should this matter be looked into? Of course. However everyone should realize it cuts both ways and each state's boe/sos should make an honest effort to clean voter roles and set up a system to adequately make sure voting is as fair as possible.

Posted by: steadman at July 17, 2010 12:10 PM

A few points:

1. Steadman is at least partially correct; the fact that the number of "illegally cast" ballots equals or even greatly exceeds Franken's plurality is of no moment, because those ballots can't possibly be segregated and discarded at this late date. The time to challenge those votes was when the voter showed up to cast them, and its certainly possible that some of them voted for Coleman or some other candidate, or didn't vote at all for US Senate.

2. Al Franken is a buffoon, but he's certainly not the first one to serve in the US Senate, and he won't be the last.

3. So what does that say about a candidate who is unable to put sufficient distance between himself and said buffoon that a couple hundred "illegally cast" ballots could actually make a difference?

4. If it isn't close, they can't cheat. (Hugh Hewitt wrote a book with that title after the 2000 Fl. mess).

Posted by: brassband at July 17, 2010 12:31 PM

If you really believe that Fox News is "the most balanced of the television news options", you are most certainly out of balance yourself.

They have ground the ax until only the handle is left.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at July 17, 2010 12:49 PM

Sean Hannity has appointed twice convicted Felon Buddy Cianci to the "Great American Panel" on Faux News.
No surprise there, since convicted Watergate and Iran-Contra felons appear nightly as commentators on the Fake-News Channel

Posted by: Sammy at July 17, 2010 2:17 PM

For all their childish name-calling, I have never seen any of the Leftists, in any forum or medium, give evidence of the falsity of any Fox News story.

Put up or shut up, Leftist liars.

Posted by: BobN at July 17, 2010 9:44 PM

Bob N
Fox News
Fox Fake News, Sean Hannity, has elevated TWICE convicted felon, and Right-Wing Hero, Buddy Cianci too the "GREAT AMERICAN PANEL" they also use other CONVICTED right-wingnut felons nightly, even giving convicted felon Oliver North, his own show.
Calling me a liar just proves that you are a partisan hack.

Posted by: Sammy at July 17, 2010 11:17 PM

Flipping your comment around, Brassband, the buffoon couldn't win without cheating. Were it not for those 312 (341) illegal votes, Franken wouldn't be senator.

Posted by: Monique at July 18, 2010 7:20 AM

Sammy --

Weren't all of the counts against North thrown out on appeal?

He may have been found guilty by a jury, but he's not a convicted felon because the verdicts were overturned and the charges dismissed.

Posted by: brassband at July 18, 2010 7:24 AM

"Flipping your comment around, Brassband, the buffoon couldn't win without cheating. Were it not for those 312 (341) illegal votes, Franken wouldn't be senator."

Or maybe he won by 653 votes?

Posted by: Patrick at July 18, 2010 7:29 AM

Sammy, you didn't even approach beginning to respond to my challenge, but merely indulged in further name-calling.

First set to me. Your serve.

Posted by: BobN at July 18, 2010 10:10 AM
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