Posted at 10:14 PM on April 26, 2009
by Tom Scheck
The U.S. Senate historian released a list of all of the election disputes that were reviewed by the members of the chamber.
It offers great detail into each dispute, why it ended up before the body, how the Senate acted and what happened to the candidates.
It's a fascinating look at some of the most contentious elections in our nation's history. It also reminds us that the 2008 U.S. Senate race is the next chapter in election lore.
By the way, the Wilson vs. Vare race (Pennsyvania, 1926) took three and a half years to reconcile. Neither candidate was sworn into office.
We can only hope to be as lucky...
Sure, Dave. We can only hope to be so lucky as to give Minnesota ONE-FOURTEENTH the per capita representation in the US Senate as the combined population of the states of Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Delaware, and Montana? Rather than the ONE-SEVENTH per capita representation that Minnesota normally "enjoys"?
You have a very strange view of "luck", Dave. Or you just don't like Minnesota.
I don't want to speak for Dave but I believe his comment reflects a greater issue having to do with the disapointment many people feel in having either one of these candidates be Minnesota's senator. Both Franken and Coleman ran mudslinging campaigns and more importantly uninspiring campaigns. I want full Senate representation for the state of Minnesota but it is difficult to blame Minnesotans for being apathetic regarding the outcome of this election. We had two primary candidates that offered little to be inspired about both in terms of their campaign and their political agenda. I hope a message is being sent to future political candidates that Minnesotans demand more of their political candidates. We want candidates to lead by passionately communicating their ideas for governing rather than dragging everyone down in the mud. Maybe then the citizens would rally behind them in times like these.
Given the terrible actions of the senate against the nation recently, I'd think having only half "our" representation there claiming our votes as authority for it would be a point of ethical pride for Minnesotans. Only one gimlet to vote for a bailout, or attack on the constitution when we could have been burdened with two.
You have a strange sense of ethics when being more responsible for waste and misuse of authority is a positive. I'm guessing you don't like Minnesota very much, this isn't a numbers game, it's doing the right thing game, and both these guys, and Amy K, have failed Minnesota there bigtime.
The longer this takes the better for Minnesota. Ethical justice isn't measured in pork brought home BalRog.
That's what I'm on about Mark.
BTW BalRog, each state gets two senators whether you're California, Vermont, or MN, so your math isn't adding up for me, and I'm terrible at math.
We currently enjoy a 50% decrease in Partyrepresentatives in the Senate. That's 50% less culpability for their crimes against ethics, justice, and the promise of our social compact as ratified in the constitution and bill of rights.
Let's just enjoy it while we can maybe.
It is of my opinion, that in the course of an election, the winner must secure a 2/3rds majority rather then a simple majority. If this election is so close then it tells me that these 2 canidates are only capable of representing part of the state, rather then all of the state. Regardless of who wins, half the state will be dissapointed.
We need canidates that bring us together rather then divide us further.
How about instant runoff voting? Maybe we'd be done with this mess long ago.
Coleman has false teeth!
Re: Anne's comment at 2:20 PM on 4/27.
Instant Runoff Voting would NOT have solved this! I'm sorry, but that's such a ridiculous statement. You can have close races under ANY election system, whether you play the ranking game (a/k/a "instant runoff") or have a simple runoff between the top 2 (which Georgia did back in December).
The issues in deciding race have been figuring out 1) how to decipher marks on a ballot and
2) figuring out how to judge if absentee ballot forms were properly filled out and verified.
In my opinion, instant runoff offers the possibility of an even WORSE fiasco than we have now because under that system, instead of deciphering just one mark, you have to decipher the marks for the 2nd and 3rd choice also (not to mention deciding what would happen if a 2nd choice mark was ruled invalid, but a 3rd choice mark was ruled valid).
I think a simple runoff system, where you have the top 2 "run off" if no one gets a majority is the superior system.
The Senator from Minn. should not be seated until the uncounted ballots issue (4000 ballots - many of which are military ballots) is resolved. The same law was applied differently in different districts, some districts accepting ballots for count based on intention, and other districts ballots were rejected because they were not perfect. Interestingly that Dem districts were willing to count any ballot and Rep districts applied a strict standard. No Minn. Senator will be seen as legitimate until this issue is resolved. The 3 judge panel copped out and tried to play it safe rather than do the right thing with setting the standard. Thus it needs to go up the judicial chain.
If you want to comment on the Coleman election protest, please have the decency to read the report where the 3 judge panel UNANIMOUSLY ruled against Coleman.
The 4800 ballots had to meet certain standards to be admitted. 400 were to be accepted, 351 after re-examination were opened and added to the count. The remaining ballots Coleman's camp could not prove were legal ballots. End of story.
The other thing Coleman was asking for was for the court to pro rate the number of ballots in the official count to compensate for illegal absentee ballots that had been accepted. There is no mechanism for doing this in MN Law and Coleman never substantiated how many ballots should be rejected.
As to the instant run-off, it might or might not have solved the problem. If the people who voted for Gibson had been redistributed in favor of either Coleman or Franken, then we might have skipped this whole fiasco, but there is no way to know.
Whoops! I meant to include the link to the polinaut post where you can read the judges' ruling:
It is an interesting read.
Gibson? I think Barclay was the candidate who snagged over 10% of the vote.