A Winner In Minnesota

OpEd by Mark Halversen, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota, testifies to the integrity of the Minnesota recount <read>

A recount to count on

As nonpartisan election integrity advocates with front-row seats at the U.S. Senate recount, we believe Minnesotans can be confident the process has been methodical and fair. The intense scrutiny given to each step of the process and to each vote in the Senate recount has provided an incredible civics lesson for Minnesotans and the nation.

Hundreds of Minnesotans have volunteered as nonpartisan observers in at least one of four statewide manual counts — the 2006 and 2008 post-election audits, the 2008 judicial primary recount and, now, the U.S. Senate recount. These efforts were organized by Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota in partnership with the League of Women Voters Minnesota and Common Cause Minnesota.

The winner is: Voting Integrity

Our current election laws effectively prevented the chaos that could have clouded the process.

Minnesota’s election process is characterized by transparency and openness. The most recent example is the live online streaming of the canvassing board’s review of the challenged ballots.

As we discussed recently, unlike Connecticut, Minnesota has the right idea, a complete, thorough, manual recount

A manual recount is the best way to be confident in the accuracy of the results in such a close race.

A meaningful recount is possible because the paper ballots provide a physical record of each voter’s intent and enable a way to independently verify the machine tally.

Although some have argued that a machine recount would have been cheaper and quicker than a hand count, it would not have been as accurate in determining voter intent.

Vote totals typically rise whenever there is a hand recount of a machine tally, as we’ve seen in this recount. This is because some voters mis-mark their ballots — for example, by circling an oval instead of filling it in — in such a way that optical scanners cannot detect their intent.

Just counting the paper is not enough. Counting the paper by hand is not enough. Minnesota could have done it much sooner if they just counted the paper by hand, but they do the whole job. Democracy can stand the wait, its speed that puts it in danger.
(See our recent post: Minnesota Recount vs. Connecticut Recanvass )

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