It looks increasingly likely that at least one member of the United States Senate may owe his seat in the world’s greatest deliberative body not to his charisma or the persuasiveness of his message but to voter fraud.
As the Wall Street Journal's John Fund reports, Minnesota Democrat Al Franken’s narrow, 312-vote victory in 2008 over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman may have come as the result of people being allowed to vote who, under existing law, shouldn’t have been.
[See who gave the most to Franken.]
The certification of Franken as the victor came only after a series of recounts dragging out for almost half a year. It also sparked an investigation by Minnesota Majority, a conservative watchdog group that compared the list of those recorded as having voted in the election against what Fund calls “criminal rap sheets.” The group found, in what appears to clearly warrant further and official inquiry, that
… At least 341 convicted felons voted in Minneapolis's Hennepin County, the state's largest, and another 52 voted illegally in St. Paul's Ramsey County, the state's second largest. Dan McGrath, head of Minnesota Majority, says that only conclusive matches were included in the group's totals. The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeds Mr. Franken's victory margin.
Thus far no one is calling for the results to be overturned. Indeed Dan McGrath, who spearheaded the inquiry, told Fox News, "We aren't trying to change the result of the last election. That legally can't be done." He added: “We are just trying to make sure the integrity of the next election isn't compromised."
Related: Mining the Minnesota Recount