The Lizard People: DENIED

At 9:38am today, the State Canvassing Board upheld Coleman’s challenge of the infamous “Lizard People” ballot, classifying it as an overvote and denying Franken the much-needed support of the Lizard People.

Now, this is a bad decision, and I’ll tell you why. The board didn’t even bother to look at the rest of the ballot, just looking at it on the projector, and thus did not see that this voter filled in “Lizard People” for every other race and also filled in the write-in bubble in those races. In the Senate Race, the voter wrote in Lizard People but did not fill in the bubble, instead filling in the bubble for Franken. This is obviously a statement, saying “Lizard People are a legitimate choice in all of the races, and although they win every other race, in a contest between Lizard People and Al Franken, Franken wins.” Mark Elias failed to make this argument, instead contending that Lizard People is obviously not a person, and thus it shouldn’t count. Bullshit. Note to Franken: Get a new lawyer.

Quotes from the discussion
“This is the weirdest ballot.” -Kathleen Gearin

“No, this is not the weirdest ballot.” -Eric Magnuson

“What if this was a vote for Moon Unit Zappa? You don’t know there ISN’T a Lizard People. You and I don’t. You don’t.” -Magnuson

“What did we do when Jesse Ventura was written in?” -Gearin

“He is a real person.” -Magnuson

“We know that Lizard can be a nickname. This could be a person. Lots of people have nicknames… Beaver… Chopper… you know.” -Coleman Lawyer

“If someone wants to make a statement with their vote, they may not get their vote counted.” -Gearin

Other Funny/Good Board Decisions
– A vote for the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a different race, which was challenged as an “identifying mark,” was allocated to Franken. This election has been touched by His Noodly Appendage. Obviously.
– Someone filled in the bubble for Franken, but then added “stein” after Al Franken’s name, thus making him “AL FRANKENSTEIN.” Coleman argued that the voter changed the name of the candidate, and thus was voting for another candidate. The State Canvassing Board did not buy this logic, and reallocated the vote to Franken.

3 Comments so far

  1. yoshi on December 18th, 2008 @ 11:49 am

    Its an overvote – plain and simple. The guy made his statement – now throw out the ballot. Perhaps next time around he won’t be that cavalier about it.

  2. Donavon (brash) on December 18th, 2008 @ 1:09 pm

    But it’s not so plain and simple, Yoshi. If you actually look at the ballot, you’ll see that the voter wrote Lizard People in for every single race, including the Senate race, and filled in the bubble for Lizard People in every single race except for the Senate race, where the voter filled in the bubble for Al Franken. In no other race did he do this. The voter’s intent is clear: Lizard People is a contender in the Senate race, but not the ultimate victor.

    I think you may be confused about the reason we’re having a recount in the first place. The goal is to establish voter intent and to count all legitimate votes, not throw out as many ballots as possible. If the voter’s intent is clear, then the vote should be counted. And here, sadly, the intent was clear, but the ballot was not counted.

  3. Humor in the Recount | Bekiyrah (pingback) on December 20th, 2008 @ 12:25 am

    […] unusual nicknames some people have. It eventually was counted as an overvote. (Donovan has more on Mpls Metblog about why that was a dumb position to take and why Franken needs a new […]

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