TPM reports that the Al Franken camp is now genuinely optimistic about their prospects for coming out ahead in the Minnesota senate recount, once all challenged and erroneously rejected absentee ballots are tabulated. Sound familiar?
The fact is, Democrats tend to gain votes in recounts, regardless of the jurisdiction or the party running the elections office, because the Democratic Party tends to overly represent the extremes of society—the youngest, the oldest, the poorest, the wealthiest, the least and the best educated—and four of those six groups tend to have more trouble casting ballots than the average voter.
There are Republicans who argue that voting should be difficult, and if you can’t follow instructions and fully fill in an oval or connect a line, your vote shouldn’t count, but that’s not the way the law is written in most of the nation. Both Washington and Minnesota are “voter intent” states, and when conducting a hand recount it is the obligation of the canvassing board to determine the voter’s intent, when possible, even if the optical scanner can’t. So if more voters intended to cast their ballots for Franken, then he should ultimately be declared the winner.
So knowing what I know about recounts, I think Franken has good reason to be optimistic.