In our headlong rush to make Donald Trump get in a time machine and declare that next month’s election “was” fair — even though it hasn’t happened yet — we all might do well to remember some history that has happened: Al Franken’s 2008 Senate race, won by 312 illegal votes — all of them, and more, illegally cast.
This August 2012 piece from Byron York makes for an enjoyable if infuriating read these days.
In the ’08 campaign, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman was running for re-election against Democrat Al Franken. It was impossibly close; on the morning after the election, after 2.9 million people had voted, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes.
Franken and his Democratic allies dispatched an army of lawyers to challenge the results. After the first canvass, Coleman’s lead was down to 206 votes. That was followed by months of wrangling and litigation. In the end, Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes. He was sworn into office in July 2009, eight months after the election.
During the controversy a conservative group called Minnesota Majority began to look into claims of voter fraud. Comparing criminal records with voting rolls, the group identified 1,099 felons — all ineligible to vote — who had voted in the Franken-Coleman race.
Minnesota Majority took the information to prosecutors across the state, many of whom showed no interest in pursuing it. But Minnesota law requires authorities to investigate such leads. And so far, Fund and von Spakovsky report, 177 people have been convicted — not just accused, but convicted — of voting fraudulently in the Senate race. Another 66 are awaiting trial. “The numbers aren’t greater,” the authors say, “because the standard for convicting someone of voter fraud in Minnesota is that they must have been both ineligible, and ‘knowingly’ voted unlawfully.” The accused can get off by claiming not to have known they did anything wrong.
Still, that’s a total of 243 people either convicted of voter fraud or awaiting trial in an election that was decided by 312 votes.
But it’s not like felons would overwhelmingly vote Democrat, is it? (Yes, that’s a joke.)
Now: felons are probably not going to be enough to throw this presidential election. Even widespread voter fraud would be unlikely to change the results of this election. Trump looks like he is headed for a historic defeat.
But . . .
But you never know.
WARNING: DIGRESSION! And in addition to felons, there is another large group of potential illegal voters out there: illegal immigrants. I wrote about this potential problem back in 2008 on my personal blog:
We have gotten about 500,000 new illegal immigrants per year every year since 2004; from 2000-2004 this number was even higher, ranging from 800,000 to 850,000 new illegals every year.
We all know that these illegals do much of what citizens do: drive, work, receive health care, etc.
Many do these things off the books, driving without licenses and working without documentation. But many others do these things with phony documentation, obtaining fraudulent licenses and filling out work papers with bogus information.
Why wouldn’t they vote, too?
Of course, I’m not sure where I might have gotten the idea that illegal immigrants might be motivated to vote against Donald Trump . . .
But surely Democrats would never encourage people they believed to be illegal immigrants to vote in federal elections, right? Well . . . um . . . James O’Keefe caught Democrats on camera doing exactly that in 2014.
END DIGRESSION! Anyway, getting back to Al Franken: his 2008 Senate race, like the 2000 presidential election, shows that very important political races can come down to a handful of votes. Democrats always have the advantage in those situations, because people who would vote illegally — like felons or illegal aliens — tend to vote Democrat. So voter fraud always benefits Democrats.
No wonder Democrats want the Republican candidate to declare fraud is not a problem before we even hold the election.