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Franken-Coleman Update, 02/10/09 (AM Edition): The Return of Three-Card Ballot Monte

The 4,797-ballot universe of properly-rejected absentee ballots from Coleman strongholds that Norm Coleman wants counted has as of this morning shrunk to around 4,300.  But it might grow again, as the Coleman campaign is apparently back to its old three-card monte tricks of adding and withdrawing ballots.   Analysis of Hennepin County data hints that Coleman is hoping for gains in the suburbs to counter Franken’s strength in Minneapolis itself — though the gains wouldn’t be enough to overcome Franken’s current lead, especially since it’s probably just grown by 25 votes thanks to the Election Contest Court’s allowing 25 Franken voters’ ballots to be counted.

Speaking of voting:  The Republicans, in their drive to put up barriers to voting — especially for people who aren’t likely to vote for Republicans — like to say that their barriers are designed to stop voter fraud.  Except even they have admitted that theirs is a "solution" in search of a problem:

To stamp out voter fraud, GOP legislators have offered a proposal that would make Minnesota’s voter-ID laws the most restrictive in the country. But according to their own party, no actual cases of voter fraud have been reported here. Still Reps. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, and Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, have sponsored a bill requiring photo identification for every voter.

The Republican National Committee’s Minnesota voter fraud Web page announced, “There are no recent documented reports of vote fraud in this state.” And that’s with a recount of 2.9 million votes that took four months to scrutinize Minnesota’s election system.

Not that this will stop longtime vote-suppressor Kiffy.  This is the person who fought fellow Republican Tom Heffelfinger’s efforts to help Native Americans cast ballots — with the help of her good friends and vote-suppressors in Bush’s Justice Department.  

O/T but important for Minnesotans: Local right wing blogs have been encouraging their readership to attend the Town Halls on the Budget ( that the legislature is holding. A lot of the GOP district websites are also linking to it. Can some of y’all make your way to them to counter the yahoos?  (And possibly do so as UpTake volunteers?)  Feel free to post your experiences at Oxdown if you do.

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