Editorial: Turnout merits Senate recountWhile Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie didn’t quite get the historic 80-percent voter turnout he hoped for, unofficial results from Tuesday’s election show an estimated turnout of 77.93 percent.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
While Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie didn’t quite get the historic 80-percent voter turnout he hoped for, unofficial results from Tuesday’s election show an estimated turnout of 77.93 percent. That’s nothing to sneeze at — and should also come as no surprise, as Minnesota has been long recognized as a national leader in voter turnout.
Such a high turnout, of course, means an awful lot of ballots were cast. There were an estimated 2,915,742 voters, including 1,211,644 who selected Norm Coleman to return to Washington as one of Minnesota’s U.S. senators. The Republican, aiming for his second six-year term, declared victory, even though his DFL opponent, Al Franken, was extremely close behind with 1,211,167 votes.
While it is well within Coleman’s right to boast of re-election — a Minnesota recount this fall with more than 400,000 votes turned up just seven changes — it should also be noted that state law mandates a recount because of the closeness of the race. For Coleman to suggest that Franken is wasting state money by allowing a recount to go forward undermines the fact that the recount law was enacted to ensure the fairest election possible.
Franken, for his part, said “irregularities” had him concerned, and it will be intriguing to see what may unfold there. Nevertheless, “irregularities” or not, the tradition of Minnesota’s strong election turnout should by all means upheld by securing a truly accurate result.