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Restrain recount madness: Looming recounts in Minnesota elections are best left to the pros

The following is an editorial from the Minnesota Daily, by the Daily Editorial Board.

Even before ballots were submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State for official tallies, the word “recount” was plastered all over Minnesota’s election news. To their credit, neither candidate in the too-close-to-call gubernatorial race has yet declared victory, despite Mark Dayton’s 9,057-vote lead in the unofficial tally. If that tight margin holds, it’s just barely enough to trigger an automatic recount under state law.

Of course, this election falls in the shadow of the lengthy, costly 2008 Senate recount between Al Franken and Norm Coleman. If 2008 was any indication, the candidates, political parties and lawyers will be relentless in pursuit of a victory.

Yet there is a difference between healthy, productive scrutiny of the public process and crying foul in order to bias public perception — a process that tainted the 2008 recount and has already regrettably begun in this one. In a press conference, State GOP Chairman Tony Sutton already speculated that “Something doesn’t smell right.” This kind of partisan noise is not only unnecessary here, but is actively harmful to our public institutions and discourse.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and his office performed superlatively in 2008 and can be trusted to do so again. Even so, they learned from that experience and have since implemented reforms to “reduce frivolous challenges” and generally strengthen the integrity and efficiency of the process.

Inevitably, there will be discrepancies between unofficial tallies and certified results. There will also likely be errors uncovered, but mistakes don’t equal fraud. Rather, these revelations are signs of a working system — one designed to be slow and exhaustive.

In this year’s recount process, let’s exercise patience and assume that Minnesota’s electoral system, which is frequently lauded as one of the best in the nation, is innocent until proven guilty.

Editorial reprinted with permission.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/05/2010 - 08:30 am.

    I wish this would be the case, but Tony Sutton (and presumably his Right wing friends) has already made it clear that he, like my 10-year-old granddaughter used to do when she was 9 (until she grew up a bit) will continuously cry in a loud whining voice

    “IT’S NOT FAIR!”

    unless and until their candidate comes out as the winner.

    If he doesn’t (and he won’t) we’ll be hearing about how the Minnesota governor’s elections was stolen by “liberal” Mark Ritchie, Acorn (which no longer even exists, but that won’t matter), and probably George Soros. Weasel news, nationally, will make this a meme and motif in their symphony of dishonesty whenever they’re trying to whip up “election fraud” hysteria.

    Indeed, “IT’S NOT FAIR!” will be heard until the end of time, just as we still hear that SAME B.S. regarding the election of Al Franken as our Senator.

    But let me remind my right wing friends that when you bury yourself in B.S., you’re not taking a bubble bath, no matter how much continuously-repeated Propagandistic perfume you use to try to disguise the smell.

  2. Submitted by Alicia DeMatteo on 11/05/2010 - 12:43 pm.

    Thank you MN Daily for offering some of the most sane commentary on this topic. If only one of your staff had interviewed Mark Ritchie on Fox 9 instead …

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