As you know, the Franken campaign is trying to convince everyone that 133 ballots are missing (though it appears Minneapolis gave up looking for them today) . That is why Franken wanted a church searched and janitors, election workers, and others interrogated by the authorities. Unfortunately, no one seems to be pointing out a couple of rather obvious alternative explanations for 133 ballots not being able to be found:
- Cindy Reichert, the Minneapolis Elections Director, originally offered the explanation that write-in votes were mistakenly counted twice. She has since walked back that explanation a bit, but it’s still a real possibility. Also note this: “In other developments, Minnesota's second-largest county is refusing a state directive to sort rejected absentee ballots into five piles, a move that set the stage for possibly counting mistakenly rejected absentee votes.” In other words, the votes could easily have been counted twice.
- It seems that a lot of students in the relevant area registered on the same day, signed in, and got in line—but the lines were very long. According to people I spoke to up there, it took several hours to vote because the lines were so long. It’s entirely possible that some of the students might have left to go to class, make it to an appointment of some sort, or frankly, just gotten bored and decided they couldn’t be bothered to actually vote… but they would have most likely been signed in.
The Franken campaign is desperate to change the narrative. Keep in mind that his campaign claims he was ahead in the counting, though no media organization, the elections boards, nor any other group agrees. Now he wants to cast doubt on the election by claiming 133 votes mysteriously were stolen from him — never mind that the people doing the stealing would have been Democratic elections officials.
At some point the media is going to have to stop just passing on the Franken line as fact and point out that Franken's facts exist in some reality other than the current one the rest of us live in.