Debunking Claims Al Franken Won Due To Illegal Votes

Talking Points Memo debunks recent right wing claims that Al Franken won his Senate seat due to fellons voting illegally for Franken. The claims originated with a conservative group, Minnesota Majority, and have been spread by Fox and others:

As it turns out, though, Minnesota Majority’s study has had its share of sloppiness and false assumptions. As the Twin Cities NBC affiliate noted, it’s not even proven that hundreds of felons illegally voted at all — in some cases there were felons who could legally vote in Minnesota, having had their rights restored, and in other cases Minnesota Majority submitted the names of the wrong people:

In reality, that has not been proven. And the actual number of felons who voted illegally will likely be much lower based on reviews from prosecutors who received Minnesota Majority’s lists in the form of spread sheets in February.

“We received about 480 names from Minnesota Majority,” Ramsey County’s lead prosecutor Phil Carruthers told KARE Wednesday, “About 270 were clearly inaccurate and were rejected right from the get-go.”

He said a quick review revealed the names and birthdates didn’t match, or that the felons in question were no longer barred from voting.In addition, instances of individual felons voting is different from any organized fraud. As Franken’s former attorney Marc Elias told The Hill: “Sen. Coleman was represented by some of the best lawyers there are in the country. At the end of that process, the lead lawyer for Sen. Coleman told the state Supreme Court that there was no evidence of persistent fraud in the election.”

Furthermore, the report runs up against a pesky obstacle that in this country dates back to the late 19th century, called the secret ballot. Even if it were proven that hundreds of illegal votes were cast, it can’t ever be proven who those people voted for. Right-wing media outlets have simply been assuming that all the felons voted for Franken. In fact, there was one solid case in January 2009 of a felon who pled guilty to illegally voting — and he said he voted for Coleman, though his word is obviously less than 100% credible. But in any case, the point stands: It can’t be proven who any one of these people would have voted for, or what any spread might have been, much less that they would have all voted for one candidate out of several who were on the ballot.

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    blogs of the world says:

    As it turns out, though, Minnesota Majority's study has had its share of sloppiness and fa… http://reduce.li/697r24 #majority

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