Commentaries

Commentaries is where Minnesota Public Radio welcomes your thoughtful opinion about current events and issues. Commentaries are like letters to the editor. To be considered for publication, your commentary should be issue-related, clearly written, and follow our Terms of Use. New insights into ongoing topics are especially welcome. Not all commentaries received are published. For topical interaction with others, visit the discussion groups.

Today's commentaries relate to our Senate Recount coverage, and both the stories and comments continue. Submit your commentary!



The recount is the right thing to do

In this country we have all become somewhat suspect of the voting system. The presidential election in 2000 and "hanging chads" in Florida has left us all with a healthy skepticism of what constitutes a fair election.

The current discourse over the recount in the Minnesota Senatorial race seems to be fueled more by those who would benefit by not having one. Rather than say "The process will run its course" or, "it is only prudent to recount in such a close election", we are given data like "$90,000" and "hundreds of people" to dissuade us from supporting the recount.

What does anyone have to fear from the recount other than the true winner of the election being named? (I voted for Coleman, by the way.) The era of sleazy politics may be moving into our rearview mirror. Let's not tarnish our state's record nor counter our resident's normal willingness to "do the right thing".

Let the recount happen, regardless of expense, because it is the right thing to do. The hours and expense should be a moot point.

Dan Swanson
Burnsville, Minn.




Question of vote shaving

All reports of vote fluctuation I have heard are making the count go only in one direction toward a closer finish. Why is that? Are there also fluctuations toward a Coleman victory? If there is a preponderance of mistakes on one side or the other, could there be point shaving going on? That could be done in concert but might also take place without a conspiracy.

David Knipfel
Minneapolis, Minn.




Recount watching from China

My husband and I are watching the current recount with much interest. This is the first time we have voted with absentee ballots. We received our ballots in October and mailed them back from China shortly after. There is no procedure to actually know if they were received or not, unless sent by registered mail, which is impossible from China.

I would be curious to know how many of the votes for Franken and Coleman were actually absentee votes, considering the new motion from Coleman to lose 32 votes. I hope they are not my votes.

Sharon Marcotte
Beijing, China (Formally of Cohasset, Minn.)




Hand-counting of ballots routine in Europe

I think most European countries count all their ballots the way the recount will be done: the ballots are counted by an election official and observed by representatives of all the political parties on the ballot. In general they (the Europeans) have higher turnout than we do, yet they hand-count all their ballots and total them up promptly.

There's been a lot of talk about the cost of the re-count, but not about the cost of the original polling. I would like to hear more about the relative costs of the usual counting method and hand-counting. I would be especially interested in hearing about how much it would cost to count all the ballots by hand in all contests.

Sarah Nicholas
Saint Paul, Minn.




Recount vs. Re-vote

The numbers for Coleman and Franken are too close. Rather than a recount, which may lead to accusations/litigation and an expensive recount, why can't a re-vote be considered?

Sue Jurgens
Brooklyn Park, Minn.




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