Throughout his Senate Campaign, Al Franken was portrayed as a bit of a jerk, short tempered, scathing tongue and someone who went around looking for an argument. After some good behavior during his first few months as Senator, Franken has proved that his reputation of being a real a**hole is entirely accurate. He is not a work horse, but a horses arse. As the saying goes elections have their consequences. Minnesota’s consequence is that their Senator is a bit of a Jerk. But now there is a new revelation that kind of rubs salt into Minnesota’s wounds, felons voting illegally may have given Franken his win. State law prohibits felons from knowingly voting or registering to vote while they are serving their sentences, including while they are on probation.
An 18-month long study conducted by Minnesota Majority study found that at least 341 convicted felons voted illegally in the election that Al Franken a U.S. senator in 2008. The recount vote in the race, which finally ended six months after Election Day, showed Franken beat Coleman by 312 votes — fewer votes than the number of felons whose illegal ballots were counted, according to Minnesota Majority’s newly released study, which matched publicly available conviction lists with voting records.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s office has charged 28 felons with illegally voting or registering to vote in 2008 after a conservative group flagged nearly 500 cases of suspected voter fraud.Ramsey County Prosecution Division Director Phil Carruthers said Monday that county investigators are considering charges in 17 cases and still probing another 182 cases.
In Hennepin County, Deputy County Attorney Pat Diamond says authorities are investigating 216 allegations flagged by Minnesota Majority but have yet to charge anyone from that group.
According to Minnesota Majority thy aren’t trying to overturn the 2008 election but they are trying to protect the integrity of future elections.
He said his group was largely ignored when it turned over a list of hundreds of names to prosecutors in two of the state’s largest counties, Ramsey and Hennepin, where fraud seemed to be the greatest.
A spokesman for both county attorneys’ offices belittled the information, saying it was “just plain wrong” and full of errors, which prompted the group to go back and start an in-depth look at the records.
“What we did this time is irrefutable,” McGrath said. “We took the voting lists and matched them with conviction lists and then went back to the records and found the roster lists, where voters sign in before walking to the voting booth, and matched them by hand.
“The only way we can be wrong is if someone with the same first, middle and last names, same year of birth as the felon, and living in the same community, has voted. And that isn’t very likely.”
The report said that in Hennepin County, which in includes Minneapolis, 899 suspected felons had been matched on the county’s voting records, and the review showed 289 voters were conclusively matched to felon records. The report says only three people in the county have been charged with voter fraud so far.
A representative of the Hennepin County attorney’s office, who declined to give her name, said “there was no one in the office today to talk about the charges.”
But the report got a far different review in Ramsey County, which contains St. Paul. Phil Carruthers of the Ramsey County attorney’s office said his agency had taken the charges “very seriously” and found that the Minnesota Majority “had done a good job in their review.”
The report says that in Ramsey, 460 names on voting records were matched with felon lists, and a further review found 52 were conclusive matches.
Carruthers attributed differences in the numbers to Minnesota Majority’s lack of access to nonpublic information, such as exact birth dates and other court records. For example, he said, “public records might show a felon was given 10 years probation, but internal records the county attorney has might show that the probation period was cut to five and the felon was eligible to vote.”
Carruthers said Ramsey County is still investigating all the names and has asked that 15 investigators be hired to complete the process. “So far we have charged 28 people with felonies, have 17 more under review and have 182 cases still open,” he said. “And there is a good chance we may match or even exceed their numbers.”
McGrath says the report shows that more still has to be done.
“Prosecutors have to act more swiftly in prosecuting cases from the 2008 election to deter fraud in the future,” he said, “and the state has to make sure that existing system, that flags convicted felons so voting officials can challenge them at the ballot, is effective. In 90 percent of the cases we looked at, the felons weren’t flagged.”
This isn’t the first charge of voter fraud in the Minneapolis Senatorial election. In 2009 the Minnesota Star Tribune;s Katherine Kersten uses ACORN’s track record of election fraud to suppose the effect on the election:
….It’s worth recalling, however, that ACORN is best-known for its massive voter-registration campaigns, which focus relentlessly on getting Democrats elected in targeted states. Here its record is appalling — and goes to the heart of our democratic electoral system.
In October 2008, ACORN announced triumphantly that it had registered about 1.3 million new voters in 18 battleground states, among them Minnesota. A few weeks later, however, the director of Project Vote — an ACORN affiliate — acknowledged to the New York Times that election officials had rejected about 400,000 of those, for reasons including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and (in the Times’ words) “fraudulent submissions from low-paid field workers trying to please their supervisors.”
Here in Minnesota, ACORN has boasted of playing a major role in the 2008 elections. It claims to have registered 43,000 new voters, which it describes as 75 percent of the state’s new registrations. Franken’s margin of victory in the Senate race was razor-thin: 312 votes out of about 3 million cast. And Minnesota’s laws on proof of voter eligibilityare notoriously loose. Did ACORN folks pull some fast ones to help get their favorite son Franken elected — a win that handed Democrats the 60-vote, veto-proof majority that they needed to enact their liberal agenda?
After the election and during the recount process the Minnesota Majority Sent a letter to the Justice Department voting rights division (the same group that dropped the New Black Panther Case) pointing out other voting violations:
- POTENTIAL DUPLICATE VOTER REGISTRATION RECORDS: We discovered thousands of voter registration records that have an exact match on the criteria of first name, middle name, last name and birth year.
- VACANT AND NON-DELIVERABLE ADDRESSES: The United States Postal Service has flagged nearly 100,000 voter registration records as being either “vacant” or “undeliverable”. We visited approximately two-dozen of these addresses to verify the USPS results and discovered approximately 50% of the addresses to be correctly flagged, in that the addresses did not exist. We have taken photographs of empty lots and non-existent addresses where our investigation revealed invalid addresses.
- DEFICIENT VOTER REGISTRATIONS: Minnesota Statute 201.071 requires voter registrations recorded after August 1, 1983 to include the voter’s name, address, date of birth and signature. We discovered thousands of voter registrations that would be considered “deficient” under Minnesota law due to missing or invalid information. Minnesota law requires these deficient registrations to be corrected before an individual is allowed to vote.
- DECEASED VOTERS: Using a standard deceased matching service commonly utilized by mailing houses, we discovered thousands of apparently deceased individuals who are still on the voter rolls.
- DOUBLE VOTING: We found nearly 100 cases in which voter registration and voter history records suggest that a single voter may have voted more than once in a single election. There are thousands of additional records that merit review.
- OTHER INCONSISTENCIES: We have discovered several thousand voters registered after August 1, 1983 that had birth years suggesting these individuals are 108 years of age or older. We also found nearly 2,000 individuals who appear to have registered and voted before the age of 18.
Of course we know now the voting rights divisions of the Department of Justice under the Obama administration doesn’t really care about voting rights, so there was no investigation of the charges.
“The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” Joseph Stalin