The vote is supposed to be secret and the law says as much.
I'm guessing that the vote is supposed to be secret to protect the voter's privacy and avoid reprisals and recriminations from others who disagree with your selection. But if the voter volunteers the information on his ballot, why shouldn't his vote count?
What analysis did you do to figure out that Coleman would win?
You may regret asking this question, but since you asked...
My analysis was not exhaustive, just looking that ballots that were scanned on the website for Dec 16 and Dec 17 (those two days represent 415 of the 1330 challenged votes that you can see on Internet). I also only looked at those ballots that the Board voted differently than the supermajority (65%) or better of the Internet vote. In other words, 65% or more of the Internet voters felt the vote belonged to one candidate, but the board disagreed and awarded the vote to someone else or nobody. 51 ballots fell into this category (so about 12%). Of those 51 ballots, 4 appeared to be for Franken but the Board believed otherwise. 8 appeared to be “no votes”, but the Board found a way to discern that the voter actually intended to vote for some candidate. It is somewhat telling that 7 of those 8 ended up going Franken’s way. The remaining 39 were apparently obvious votes for Coleman but the Board voted otherwise (usually they awarded the vote to no one thus failing to count 9% (39 of 415) of obvious Coleman voters.
At first I was incensed that the Board appeared to be tossing out 9% of obvious votes for Coleman but only 0.5% of obvious votes for Franken. But that was before I looked closer to see the reasons why. Look at this particular ballot
. If you just look at the page that pops up initially you will be hard pressed to say this is not a valid vote for Coleman. But note that you only see a partial ballot. Up above the ballot extract is a second link which takes you to rest of the ballot
. There you will see what appears to be a signature (an identifying mark) which according to Minnesota law invalidates the ballot. 18 of the 51 subject ballots had some kind of identifying mark. 17 of those 18 were votes for Coleman that were challenged by the Franken campaign.
Another common error was where the voter filled in the oval but then X'd thru it example
. Only when you open up the entire ballot do you see that the X is inconsistent with other marks/votes on the same ballot which were dutifully filled in without the X. 16 ballots of the 51 fell into this category and typically the board would award these votes to “other or no one”.
Remaining 17 ballots of the 51 were awarded for any number of odd reasons, including overvotes, oval not completely filled in, wrong ballot used, etc. Remember that from the Internet user’s perspective the voter intent from each of these ballots was easy to discern, but the Board decided against the obvious choice.
Few would argue that the Board has NOT effectively disenfranchised substantial numbers of obvious Coleman voters but I can’t lay the blame for that disenfranchisement at the feet of the Canvassing board. There is clearly a legal precedent for their decision (even though the law makes no sense).
As I mentioned in my earlier email, I conclude from my analysis that the Franken camp had a much stronger strategy for vote challenges than the Coleman camp. The Franken camp challenged large numbers of ballots with identifying marks, while the Coleman camp challenged hardly any. Assuming that an equal percentage of Franken voters left identifying marks on their ballots, it would appear that, for whatever reason, the Coleman camp failed to challenge those ballots. Had they challenged them, Franken's vote tally would be substantially less. Combined with the other suspect votes appearing from nowhere, Coleman would have a much greater chance to win.