In case you were wondering…

No, the Minnesota recount is not over yet, and we still don’t know whether Franken or Coleman will be our senator. At last word, Coleman held a 192 vote lead, but thousands of ballots are awaiting a verdict on eligibility from the state Supreme Court. It’s the most mind-numbingly tedious process ever, so far.

However, scrutiny of the ballots has revealed one vote for the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor, and another for Franken and Lizard People for US Senator. The latter was rejected as an overvote, but the former did also have a vote that counted for Al Franken.

If you want a deeper discussion of the recount progress, go to Greg Laden. I’ve got the news off until my grading is done.


  1. Iname says

    The Lizard people don’t need your pathetic votes. They will take the power whenever they desire.

  2. Ouchimoo says

    Wasn’t mine. I did vote for Franken, but not for spaghetti monster. I don’t mix religion in with politics.

  3. says

    I still argue that the Lizard People ballot clearly wasn’t an overvote, as only one bubble was darkened. As you can see in the race above U.S. Senate, when the voter wanted to vote for Lizard People, he did so. In the Senate race, he clearly just wanted them to be a candidate.

  4. Brian says says that Franken has a 67% chance of winning. Go to their website and do a “contract search” for “MN.SENATE08.DEM”

  5. says

    I’m for Franken. I do mix politics and religion. It’s what I do. You folks have been EXTREMELY helpful in that regard and I thank you. As far as I’m concerned there is no issue on the validity of science or it’s usefulness. There is only obstructionist relignocrats who need to be marginalized. That’s part of the ‘mission’ I am on.

    A story I wrote and posted at Talking Points Memo yesterday has several comments and several ‘recommends’, probably as a result of my sharing the url with the group yesterday. It’s near the top of the reader recommend posts.

    The Santa Claus Delusion:

    If you missed it yesterday, pop over and check it out. I think you guys will enjoy it. I could just repost it over here, but my goal is not just to preach to the choir.

    Recommending my posts (if you agree with them or find them interesting) is not nearly as ephemeral as poll crashing, which I enjoy as much as the next fellow. The polls disappear into the ether way too fast. Even a fraction of the traffic PZ sends to the polling sites would probably keep my post visible for days.


  6. Lord Zero says

    No votes for PZ from the cephalopod free thinkers party ?
    “Vote PZ vote for Science” could be such a great slogan.

  7. says

    I’m mildly optimistic right now that Franken will eventually pull this one out, but the right-wing is very busy preparing a post-decision narrative of “stolen election.” The main point is that Coleman “won” on election night and that the canvassing board is stacked against him. Great intellects like Ann Coulter also argue that county election boards made “statistically improbable” corrections to the vote tallies, but she she either does not understand what she’s talking about or does not care that she is misleading her readers. I think the latter is likely, but I’m also willing to consider the possibility that she is statistically stupid.

  8. Badjuggler says

    Franken has openly stressed the importance of science many times in his campaign speeches. He would be a very good man to have in Congress from the scientific point of view.

  9. says

    I’m totally with #5 – I don’t get why the “Lizard People” ballot was thrown out as an overvote. Clearly, this person wrote-in and voted for the Lizard People above, but for Senator he also just as clearly wrote-in LP as an candidate, but the VOTED for Franken. If filling in a bubble counts as the act of voting, then Franken got the vote. Unless there is some rule that the act of writing-in counts as a vote (as opposed to filling in the bubble), than throwing this ballot out is wrong. If Franken loses by one vote, then the Lizard People, just as Ralph Nader before them, are dead to me.

  10. tacitus says

    Never, ever volunteer to be on a state election canvassing board. Talk about a thankless task. They could go through those challenged ballots 100 times and come up with 120 different results! No matter who wins in the end, a whole load of people are going to be pissed at them.

  11. Miko says

    Pre-election polling showed that it would be close and yet 15% still decided to vote for a third-party candidate. The fact that 15% realized that voting for either the Democratic or Republican candidates would be throwing their vote away tells me everything I need to about this race. Why don’t we just leave the seat unfilled for the term and ensure that the parties don’t nominate the same loser candidates again next cycle?

  12. Ouchimoo says

    I’m a bit annoyed at the argument that, a small speck of ink is in Colman’s bubble, but Al Franken’s is filled out completely, WE DON’T KNOW WHO THIS GUY VOTED FOR!! I have a terrible habit of this myself. . I put my pen down on a name I recognize then look over the names, then fill in the bubble I want.

    I am SO glad I didn’t do that for this election because I had a firm idea on who I wanted. Otherwise I would be pissed to think they might have mistaken my vote because of a dot.

  13. Bill Dauphin says

    Does Franken have a political history at all? I mean outside of his comedy.

    You mean besides several bestselling books about politics and a long run doing 3 hours of political commentary every day on Air America radio?

    AFAIK he’s never held elective office, but lots of people run for Congress without any extensive experience in electoral politics; the fact that Franken is more famous than most of them doesn’t necessarily make him any less qualified.

    I listened to nearly every hour of Franken’s radio show, and I never failed to be impressed by how thoroughly prepared he was for every interview… and how ready he always was to learn from the people he was talking to. He might have some OJT ahead of him when it comes to the mechanics of legislative procedure, but he’ll take a backseat to nobody when it comes to understanding of the issues.

    I don’t live in MN, but if I did, I would be intensely proud to have someone as intelligent, well-read, and humane as Al Franken for my senator. Aside from a single donation to Jim Martin’s runoff campaign against Saxby Chambliss, the only out-of-state political contributions I’ve ever made were to Franken’s campaign. If he triumphs in this recount process, it’ll surely be the best Cephalopodmas present I get this year.

  14. Robert Byers says

    From Canada
    Let justice and goodness prevail and Franklin lose.
    I can’t stand this person because after reading his book on Limbaugh/idiot instead of being about Rush, I’m a fan, it was covertly really a Jewish rant about Rush representing a threat to liberal Jewish dominance in the mainstream media. He was represented of the American man from the midwest who had bypassed the usual barriers to republicans (read white protestants) by going on a moribund media called radio. No one was watching and whoops.
    Rush therefore was bringing to large audiences old time American ideas that are rejected by a liberal eastern establishment, especially the over represented Jewish immigrant population.
    This was whu Franklin hated Rush. The middle class/working class Yankee. included in that Christian presumptions behind society and a general resistance to other identities special claims for advancement and placement in America.
    In short Jewish influence, power, wealth, prestige, values were threatened by uncontrolled Yankee/Southern access to the big mediums.
    It wasn’t abot the democratic party.
    I was outraged by what I read even though I had enjoyed his comedy and ignored his spiteful, stupid liberal attitudes as typical hollywood.
    Its evil to see a enemy of americ and her great principals running for senate.
    By the way considering the Obama presidence is about identity politics and interfering with who gets what based on race/ethnicity/sex then why is another Jewish senator from Minnosota okay?
    i understand there are already some dozen jewish senators. The most of any individual ethnic group and out of proportion to their 2% in the country and way out considering then herd in the bid cities.
    Is it okay for every people group in america to be so out represented ? How about Americans (white Yanks/Southerners)?
    Many thinking Canadians who just want justice and kindness to prevail in your great civilization question these things like me.

  15. Sven DiMilo says

    Byers, stupid racist content aside, that was the most illiterate thing I’ve read all day. And that’s an accomplishment; I’ve been grading final exams.

  16. says

    Don’t worry so much about the Jewish threat to society. Madoff ‘single handedly’ bankrupted them all. Be kind to them when standing in the bread lines next to them.


  17. Graculus says

    Mr Byers

    Also from Canada

    You are still very much a fucking moron.

    tell Ernst Zundel that thinking Canadians who just want justice and kindness to prevail say: “Goodbye, asshole”

  18. 'Tis Himself says


    Your rant about the Minnesota election in particular and Jews in general would be improved if you spelled Franken’s name correctly.

  19. Steve_C says


    Franken’s book was called… RUSH LIMBAUGH IS A BIG FAT IDIOT… what did you think it was going to be about?

    Byers, shut the fuck up. You’re a fucking tool. And no one cares about you opinions of American politics. In every post you’ve shown you are a right wing dipshit. You’re probably a fan of Icke too.

  20. dean says

    Let’s look at one item from Mr. Byers’ post.

    “Its evil to see a enemy of americ and her great principals running for senate.”

    * “Its” – should be “It’s”
    * “a enemy” – should be “an enemy”
    * “americ” – should be “America”
    * “principals” – unless he is referring to the people who lead our elementary, middle, and high schools, this should be “principles”

    That post has an incredibly high stupid density. I need to go back to grading. Congratulations to all of you who are done. (mumbles under breath, pulls out another Gen Ed stat survey paper and silently screams “It’s MEDIAN, not MEDIUM you **#@#!$$@!!

  21. Steve_C says

    Either Byers is a lumberjack with a limited education OR french is his first language.

    Either way, he hates Jews. I would bet he’s known next to none.

  22. Nerd of Redhead says

    I see not so well meaning fool Byers showed up. Whatever he said, invert it, and it is probably close to what we should believe. Like, if he thinks we shoulde take his idiocy to hear, we should just ignore it.

  23. Brownian, OM says

    Many thinking Canadians who just want justice and kindness to prevail in your great civilization question these things like me.

    You just keep up the good work thinking and questioning there, Robert.

    (By the way, the yellow square goes in the square-shaped hole; the red circle in the…well, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Yes, those words do say, “Fisher Price”! I’m so proud!)

  24. says

    Go Franken! I really don’t know much about Coleman, but I have heard from friends in Minnesota that he’s a real tool.

  25. James F says

    More breaking political news, from Shawn Otto of ScienceDebate2008:

    “We want to congratulate President-elect Obama on continuing to assemble an outstanding science team.

    A few days ago we told you about the appointment of Steven Chu as Energy Secretary.

    Today we have two more outstanding appointments to announce:

    1. We have learned that John Holdren will be President Obama’s Science Advisor. John has an excellent knowledge of science policy, and a deep understanding of how the public needs the government to engage on science policy issues. He is a recent past president of the AAAS and an early and ardent Science Debate 2008 supporter. You can watch a 1-minute video he did for us last February, promoting a primary science debate at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

    2. Jane Lubchenco, we’re told, will head up President Obama’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admninistration (NOAA). She is an outstanding choice with a deep background in marine biology. Jane is also a past AAAS president, and also an early supporter of Science Debate 2008. When we issued candidate invitations to an Oregon debate, Jane was a close advisor. Here’s a 1-minute video of her. (

    Why are these choices so important? Here is a 1-minute video President-elect Obama’s transition chief, John Podesta, did for us earlier this year that answers that. Clearly, this is a man who gets it, working, it seems, for a president who gets it.

    Our warmest congratulations to President-elect Obama, his transition team, and to Holdren and Lubchenco on these outstanding appointments.”

    A Nobel Prize winner and two past AAAS presidents? Now that’s a Christmas present.

  26. Keanus says

    And the last I heard–from Keith Olberman tonight–Coleman’s lead was down to somewhere between 2 and 5–that’s right 2 and 5 votes! More importantly, the Minnesota court (I think it’s the state’s supreme court) ordered that some 1,500 ballots that had been thrown out for clerical errors (in other words, not mistakes by the voters) be counted. And they’re expected to be strongly for Franken, probably from strong Franken precincts. So stay tuned. This may be over before Christmas. if not, then maybe Franken and Coleman will have to meet in a duel.

  27. says

    Either way, he hates Jews. I would bet he’s known next to none.

    Oh, come on, now; I’m sure he has lots of Jewish friends. Just like Rick Warren has lots of gay friends whose marriages he helped invalidate.

  28. Ben Breuer says

    PZ: “It’s the most mind-numbingly tedious process ever, so far.”

    For some reason, through my mind shot: this is how a fossil must feel, not so much about evolving in the first place (life’s exciting, I guess) but about the arguments over its significance by paleontologists.

    Smooth grading! — BB

  29. Graculus says

    Either Byers is a lumberjack with a limited education OR french is his first language.

    He’s probably from Alberta. You have Texas, we have Alberta. Anyhow, he doesn’t have the diction of the “Pepsi and a Mae West” demographic.

  30. Bill Dauphin says

    D’Oh!! I always wondered how anyone could possibly post in the wrong thread… and now I know. [sigh]

    My last (@40) should, obviously, have been in the Same as the Old Boss thread.

    BTW, I’m about to sign off for the day, and won’t be around much for the next couple weeks, due to some very minor surgery, followed by an influx of holiday houseguests.

    Y’all have a safe and happy solstice, y’hear?

  31. says

    If I understand correctly, the “Lizard People” ballot was invalidated because”Lizard People refers to more than one individual, which is all kinds of hilarious. Also, something that was noted on Mark Evanier’s blog, the FSM has gotten the same number of votes in this recount as Alan Keyes. Ha!

  32. Nick Gotts says

    uncontrolled Yankee/Southern access to the big mediums. – Robert “Stinking Filth” Byers

    Anyone else get a mental image of Good ‘Ol Boys screwing enormously fat spiritualists?

  33. Chas, PE SE says

    I’m thinkin’ that they should just stop counting, get together and flip a quarter. Winner gets the MN senate seat; loser gets appointed to fill Obama’s or Hillary’s seat.

  34. Ouchimoo says

    Canvassing Board
    Challenged Ballot Rulings
    Franken +439
    Other +198
    Total reviewed 890
    Coleman lead 2

    almost WHOOT!
    BTW in regards to the Frankin book. I’m reading it right now “Rush is . . .” and early on in the chapters I came across the story about Rush hosting the Late Night Show by Pat Sajak’s. Rush went in and got half of the crowd booing and yelling against him when Rush made a joke about AIDS victims. I couldn’t believe it, so I Googled it, then I Youtubed it and eventually found something. Turns out it wasn’t about AIDS victims but instead about abortions. I give you the website:

    It is really unbelievable.

  35. Sven DiMilo says

    Anyone else get a mental image of Good ‘Ol Boys screwing enormously fat spiritualists?

    uh…well, I do now.
    Gee, thanks, Nick!

  36. william e emba says

    Regarding the Lizard People rejection: apparently MN law says that the act of filling in a name, with or without marking the bubble, counts as a vote for that person. That certainly seems intuitive enough.

    So Mr Smart Aleck double voted for a senator, once for Mr Franken and once for Mr People. Assuming he also voted for a listed presidential candidate, since he also wrote in Mr People, that vote too was lost. I’m sure Mr Aleck is really enjoying his joke now. Hahaha, Mr Aleck, Mr Coleman is up by two!

  37. says

    I wonder what reason Coleman gave for challenging the FSM ballot. There is nothing to make it an overvote, so the only grounds I can think of is that “Flying Spaghetti Monster” is an identifying mark. Is Coleman trying to tell us that The FSM – with His Noodly Appendage – voted for Franken for Senate (while only trying to get the more modest office of Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor for Himself)?

  38. bernarda says

    Not about this election, but you might like this comment on the California vote against gay marriage on youtube. “The Ban on Christian Marriage”.

  39. Qwerty says

    As a citizen of Minnesooota, I keep wondering if they’ll get the recount done before the NEXT election.