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Voter Intent

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A Disputed "Lizard People" Ballot
(MPR Photo/Tom Robertson)
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For most of the country the 2008, election is over. But not in Minnesota. After nearly three million votes were cast in Minnesota's US Senate race, incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman led his Democratic challenger Al Franken by only 215 votes. The state has finished hand counting all the ballots and there's still no winner yet. John Moe talks with Minnesota Public Radio political reporter Curtis Gilbert about the political carnival in discerning "voter intent" on disputed ballots.


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  • By maria damon

    From minneapolis, MN, 12/06/2008

    John Moe mentioned that there had been a "poem written all over" one of the ballots, so i hurried down to look it up on the website, as i work on poetry and public space, etc. I wish your slideshow included that one, though the "lizard people" was aptly amusing. A vote is simultaneously so private and public, it's a fascinating document and i'd never thought of using the ballot as a creative space; but i'm sure glad someone did. would it be possible to post the poem-ballot on the web?

    By Emmett Doyle

    From Collegeville, MN, 12/06/2008

    The voter clearly voted for Franken in this one. He simply gave himself the option of voting for lizard people. He did not, hoever, fill in the oval next to the lizard people, clearly desiring Al Franken above such scaly representatives.

    By Rosemarie Henzler

    From St. Cloud, MN, 12/06/2008

    His/her vote was for Franken, but thought it'd be "funny" and do the write-in without filling in the oval. Perhaps there needs to be better instruction/education before the voter goes into the booth.

    By Ruth Baker


    Clearly this guy wanted Al Franken. I don't know why this guy was such a bonehead. However, it also looks like he intended the lizard people vote to be for the office listed above, probably because he didn't care for any of the candidates for that particular office.

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