The Spectacle Blog

Florida Without the Sunshine

By on 1.15.09 | 7:19AM

That's basically what a Wall Street Journal op-ed says the Minnesota Franken/Coleman recount has been--an episode of Florida in 2000 without all that yummy warmth. (It was written by former associate dean of the University of Minnesota Law School.)

Minnesota is Bush v. Gore reloaded. The details differ, but not in terms of arbitrariness, lack of uniform standards, inconsistency in how local recounts were conducted and counted, and strange state court decisions.

Consider the inconsistencies: One county "found" 100 new votes for Mr. Franken, due to an asserted clerical error. Decision? Add them. Ramsey County (St. Paul) ended up with 177 more votes than were recorded election day. Decision? Count them. Hennepin County (Minneapolis, where I voted -- once, to my knowledge) came up with 133 fewer votes than were recorded by the machines. Decision? Go with the machines' tally. All told, the recount in 25 precincts ended up producing more votes than voters who signed in that day.

While it's nice to see some people are analyzing this with a clear head, I have heard from a lot of people I respect, Minnesota is not Florida in 2000.  Maybe, in this aftermath, and given that Franken's folks have sued for him to take his Senate seat, they would agree with this assessment.

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