Minnesota senate race

I suspect a lot of my readers don’t know this: they are still counting votes for the Minnesota senate race from November 4. The ‘official’ results came in on November 18, with the incumbent Republican Norm Coleman winning by 215 votes – out of 2.8 million votes cast. That gave him a 0.0075% margin of victory. A recount is mandatory for elections that finished within half a percent (or less) in Minnesota, and since then it’s been a huge mess.

Day by day, Coleman’s lead has dwindled until eventually, when the official recount and challenged votes (because candidates can challange voting ballots that get inspected by the Canvassing Committee to decided if they should count and for who) were all counted, Al Franken had a lead of 49 votes. But that’s not even the end yet. There were 1350 improperly rejected absentee votes put into the equation now. The state supreme court said (and get this) that the two campaigns can figure out which ones count and which ones don’t – not the Canvassing Committee! This sent the recount into a tailspin. Imagine the 100% bias that is going to come to the table when the parties get involved? Appeals have been made from both parties, and still the election for Minnesota’s second senator is no where near finished. Congress will resume soon, and Minnesota will be a man down in the senate – and for how long, no one knows. The previous most messy senate race stretched for 10 months to decide who was elected, and that was only resolved though another election. Who knows how long this will take, or how it will be resolved.

All this mess could have been avoided however. There was a third party candidate (Dean Barkley, independent) who got 15% of the vote on November 4. Yet another example of third parties ruining election.

This was just to show you that the while Obama is all set up to take over the running of the country, there’s still battles being fought from November 4. If anyone was interested in this race, I can write up a more detail account of the past 2 months of the Minnesota fiasco. It makes for ammusing reading. I suppose, on one hand, it shows the strength and qualities of democracy that are good. It also shows just how messy the US’ system can be.

Thomas.

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5 thoughts on “Minnesota senate race

  1. I suppose that you could look at it from two ways: one would be that you don’t see problems like this in other countries all that often, while it seems that no US election goes by without some serious problem.

    Then again, you take the good with the bad – I don’t suspect too many people living in a democratic society would change to any other system. I certainly wouldn’t.

  2. I have been following this closely on the net and yet again it convinces me that first past the post voting is a problem. Candidates get elected with less than 50% of the vote and third parties change elections. This could all be avoided if the preferential (also known as the instant runoff) system were implemented in the US. It can be worked in for voting machines so it would not be such a huge change for our American friends. Link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferential_voting

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