Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Minnesota Recount – Franken Gets Serious

Al Franken may have made his name as a comedian, but he is serious about winning the recount in the Senate election in Minnesota.

Democrat Al Franken’s campaign said Monday that as many as 1,000 absentee ballots were improperly disqualified in Minnesota’s Senate race, and that it may appeal to courts or the U.S. Senate to order that those ballots be counted.

“Wherever the numbers stand today…that number simply cannot be relevant if it does not include all the votes that were legally cast,” said Franken attorney Marc Elias. “No recount can be considered accurate or complete until all the ballots cast by lawful voters are counted.”

Minnesota’s Board of Canvassers ruled last Wednesday that it would not revisit the improperly disqualified ballots.

Elias said that of the 12,000 disqualified absentee ballots in the race, “as many as 1,000″ ballots were improperly excluded, and should be counted. Elias said it would appeal to the Board of Canvassers, courts, or even the U.S. Senate to ensure those ballots be counted.

The U.S. Constitution allows each congressional chamber to be the “Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called the Board of Canvassers’ decision to not count the absentee ballots “a cause for great concern,” fueling speculation that the Senate would explore the legality of the Minnesota recount’s results.

The Coleman campaign objects.

“The Franken campaign has made it clear that the recounted votes and will of Minnesotans matter little to them, and that they intend to take their campaign to change the outcome of this election on to the United States Senate,” said Coleman campaign spokesman Mark Drake. “Al Franken should personally reject this strategy outright, and honor the right of Minnesotans to choose who their senator should be — and not allow lawsuits and the strong-arm tactics of the majority leader of the United States Senate to intervene in this process.”

Yeah, that worked for Al Gore in Florida in 2000.