How Emmer Wins The Recount

I’m going to depart from my usual impeccably high standards to indulge in a little pure speculation.

How could Emmer win the recount?

It’s worth asking – largely because the Dayton Campaign and the media keep repeating so long, loud and stridently that it’s not.  Dayton ran a purely vaporous campaign of absolutely no substance – but he spent three times as much as Tom Emmer did to do it.   The main underlying message of the entire campaign was “Dayton Is Inevitable, Resistance Is Futile”.   We saw how that turned out; an 8,000 vote margin, around four tens of a percent.  The campaign is continuing, of course, with the DFL calling in its markers with the media to take up the chant that “Dayton Is Inevitable!”.

And his odds look prettty good, naturally. 

But it’s by no means airtight.

Here’s one way it ends with an Emmer win.

There were about 2.1 million votes cast for Governor this year, with Dayton getting about 919,000 and Emmer getting 910,000 along with about 250,000 throwaway votes (I’m looking at you, “Independence” Party).

In 2008,  the Minnesota Majority claimed that there were over 40,000 “overvotes” in Minnesota.  Secretary of State Ritchie responded in his department’s defense that the figure was closer to 30.000, although he really wasn’t very sure.

That’s means there were a little over one percent more ballots than signatures at polling stations.

Let’s say that we had about the same number this year; let’s take  Ritchie at his word, and call it 30,000 votes.

Let’s say the overvotes were concentrated in Hennepin, Ramsey and Saint Louis counties.  For purposes of rough, hypothetical numbers, let’s say virtually all of them did. 

If the reconcilation process goes as it’s supposed to, then precincts with overvotes will be required to remove random ballots from the stack until the number of ballots gets down to the number of signatures.

For purposes of roughing out some numbers, let’s say that 10% of the randomly-selected votes are for throwaway candidates.  That leaves about 27,000 votes. 

Dayton won Hennepin, Ramsey and Saint Louis counties by nearly a 2:1 margin.   Let’s say that ratio holds among the votes discarded during reconciliation.  That means Dayton loses 18,000 votes, and Emmer loses about 9,000. 

Which gives Emmer a margin of victory of just under 1,000 votes, before we get into dealing with undercounted military absentee ballots.

Within the realm of possibility?  We shall see.

21 thoughts on “How Emmer Wins The Recount

  1. One more time. I believe in democracy. I don’t trust Minnesota’s election process. I’m not alone.
    No amount of “fact checking” will fix this.

  2. Emmer wins by that and with a chicken, eye of newt, hair clippings and a whole lot of wishful thinking.

  3. You want Ritchie to adhere to the Constitution, Mitch? You’ve taken your bong out of mothballs again, haven’t you?

  4. With ACORN in the tank, Soros of State Ritchie is under a lot of pressure to deliver for his remaining sponsor.

  5. While they’re looking, maybe they could find 80,000-100,000 people that voted for TPaw in ’02 and ’06 but somehow didn’t have their votes for Emmer counted this year. That would pretty easily erase the 9,000 vote deficit as well.

  6. Even if we end up stuck with Dayton, correlating “extra votes” to DFL precincts could have amazing value–and that’s exactly what I expect to happen.

    For that matter, are there data out there on where the extra votes were from in 2008? Let’s use reconciliation for all it’s worth–to show where the poll “butchers” are putting their fingers on the scales.

  7. Emmer’s appeal was rightly denied by the predominantly Republican Supreme Court, just as Coleman’s was unanimously denied by the same Supreme Court for the same basic reason.

    Coleman failed to produce evidence to substantiate his claim of vast error. He failed to because no such FACTUAL evidence existed. He was given his chance by the court, and they cited him for his failure to produce evidence as a key reason for his claims being denied.

    Emmer’s appeal rested on ignoring a long standing administrative rule, one which his team doubtless knew of. He appealled under the guise of trying to match ballots to signatures, but his team doubtless knew that this counting of receipts had been the course of conduct since 1980. Frankly, I think his team (and I actually think Emmer probably DIDN’T direct this, he strikes me as someone of integrity) but I think his team realized that if successful, his count would go up relative to Dayton because the most likely areas of problems would be big pricincts in big cities, aka where Dayton got more votes. In short, it was a thinly veiled attempt to disenfranchise votes that in the past, including in elections Republicans have won, have been counted.

    For those of you who belly-ache about fraud, how do you feel about fatuously trashing valid votes? If your integrity is as you say, that should have truly bothered you that this attempt was made. If, on the other hand, you only care about winning, despite the law and the courts repudiating Emmer as it did Coleman, then you’ll continue to complain.

    Vote fraud accounts for 0.00009% (in Washington) and 0.00006% (in Ohio) of votes, according to exhaustive reviews. That’s FAR less than 8700 votes out of 2 Million separating Dayton from Emmer. This election doesn’t, and never has, hinged on fraudulent voting. Saying it does, doesn’t make it so. Monty Jensen is proving to be either a bald-faced liar or a profoundly confused idiot. Either way, the elderly who LAWFULLY voted were besmirched by his allegation, as were the workers who aid them, and repeating it here only continued an injustice, it didn’t highlight one.

  8. how do you feel about fatuously trashing valid votes?

    Like the 80+% of military absentee ballots that don’t get counted, under Mark Ritchie’s administration?

    Very very bad.

    Vote fraud accounts for 0.00009% (in Washington) and 0.00006% (in Ohio) of votes, according to exhaustive reviews

    …by people with vested interests in the system.

    Monty Jensen is proving to be either a bald-faced liar

    Er, Pen? That’s a very very big charge. If DG’s “research” is what you’re going by, you might want to reconsider. Fast.

  9. Not to be a Debbie downer, but I think your math is optimistic. If you take the larger number, 40,000 potential over votes, place them all in St. Louis, Hennepin, and Dakota counties and then strip out the votes based on the percentage of votes cast for Horner, Emmer, and Dayton; you get a delta of 7690 votes closer for Emmer. That’s a lot of foot on the scale to make it even that close. Is there a count on the number of military votes that arrived late?

    Math for checking:
    Total votes for Horner, Emmer, and Dayton in St. Louis, Hennepin, and Ramsey: 736,989
    Assume 40,000 over votes in these three counties runs out to a 5.4% over vote percentage.
    (To get to the required 8755 votes this way, you’d need 45,550 ballots thrown out for over votes in these three counties. 6.2% of all votes cast in these three counties.)

    Hennepin County:
    12.19% Horner (57,116 total votes)
    35.98% Emmer (168,524 total votes)
    50.81% Dayton (237,995 total votes)
    5.4% of votes thrown out closes the gap by 3771 votes (rounded up.)

    Ramsey County:
    11.95% Horner (22,959 total votes)
    31.98% Emmer (61,412 total votes)
    54.93% Dayton (105,498 total votes)
    5.4% of votes thrown out closes the gap by 2393 votes (rounded up.)

    St. Louis County:
    8.27% Horner (6998 total votes)
    28.58% Emmer (24,186 total votes)
    61.81% Dayton (52,301 total votes)
    5.4% of votes thrown out closes the gap by 1526 votes (rounded up.)

  10. >>For those of you who belly-ache about fraud, how do you feel about fatuously trashing valid votes?

    If you and other DFL types don’t like the law then you should change it, not ignore it. At least one justice yesterday commented on the reprehensible practice of placing one’s own personal preferences above the law in this matter. It will be interesting to see the opinion.

  11. Penigma, I’m confused by your comments.

    At my precinct, I signed the book and was given a receipt. I took the receipt to a different table and was given a ballot. I completed the ballot and put it into the machine. Three separate steps to vote.

    I assumed this was some sort of triple-checked security system, in which the number of people who signed the book equalled the number of receipts and also equalled the number of ballots in the machine.

    From your comments, that’s not so. It’s only a double-check system, in which the number of receipts equal the number of ballots in the machine. It doesn’t matter how many signatures are in the book.

    But wait – without signatures, how do we know where those receipts came from? One guy stuffing ballots into the machine certainly can throw a few more receipts into the bin – there’s no tracking mechanism for either receipts or ballots, only for signatures. Receipts and ballots are not sworn testimony; only the signature carries the penalty of perjury.

    Disregarding 1/3 of the security checks – specifically the one with legal consequence – surely makes vote fraud easier. This is the system you endorse? Why?


  12. To quote Tony Soprano: “You know it and I know it. It’s over.”
    Emmer got outspent and now he’s being outlawyered. The best thing for the Republicans to do is lick their wounds and make sure that Dayton spends the next four years talking to the walls inside the Governor’s mansion. I’m happier they won control of the legislature than if Emmer had won and the DFL was still spending like a drunken sailor.
    Here’s my solution to the recount dilemma: paper, rock, scissors at the fifty yard line of the Metrodome.

  13. OffTopic;

    “Is there a count on the number of military votes that arrived late?”

    I doubt that Mark Ritchie will ever admit to how many did. To do so would expose his incompetence and his blatant partisanship.

    I can tell you this; my children have several (seven) friends serving in the military at overseas posts. All of them complained that their ballots were sent TO them from one to three weeks LATE. All were worried that their votes would not count. This same thing happened the last election cycle and was exposed by Dan Severson.

    It is a tragedy that so many stupid asses voted for that traitor Ritchie, thereby pissing on our military personnel. But, then again, with him in charge of elections, he may not have really won.

    The scariest part of this is that over half of the population of this state now accept crooked elections, as long as their side wins! Pathetic!

  14. I wouldn’t be so willing to concede this one. We may not have the enforcement on our side, but we do have the law on our side. If we carry this up the chain of command to the US Supreme Court, I don’t see how they can deny the reconciliation process. They can claim it is unconstitutional, but they cannot claim Emmer’s right to challenge the voter number versus signature number isn’t LAW.

    Let the replay officials look at this one, folks.

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