I had a chance to see Minnpost political reporter, Jay Weiner, at this month’s Twin Cities Media Alliance brown bag lunch at the East Lake Library earlier today.
Weiner has turned into an election recount geek after covering the Franken/Coleman and Dayton/Emmer recounts. In fact, he has written a book recounting the Franken/Coleman recount called This is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Minnesota Senate Recount
One nugget that Weiner mentioned was the best explanation I’ve heard to date to explain why Democrats seem to have a knack for picking up votes during manual recounts after close elections. He said that Dems are generally sloppier voters. Yes, that’s correct. They’re sloppy. Why? He said that Dems tend to have more new voters who are less familiar with the process, including people less familiar with the English language. While the machines that scan their votes may miss their intent, it remains obvious to anyone viewing the ballot manually.
I’m sure there are people on the right who think there is some sort of political conspiracy at play (one that allows for the flipping of of house and senate majorities, Oberstar to lose his seat, but somehow focus on the governor’s race?), but this much more plausible explanation to me. Especially considering how well our recount processes are documented by The Uptake.
I suppose a particularly unpatriotic Republican could make a case that a vote shouldn’t be counted, even when the intent is clear, if the machines can’t accurately read it, but I doubt that will happen.
Sloppy voting has proven to be a minuscule issue. We see this in how the Dayton/Emmer recount played out, where overly zealous Tom Emmer backers frivolously challenged thousands of ballots, only to later withdraw their own challenges.