Here’s a little fun fact. Even after all the results are counted, and all the legal challenges have been answered, the Democratic Party Controlled Senate can vote to not seat Norm Coleman, to count disqualified ballots, even if the courts have ruled them inadmissible, or to call for a run-off election. Their reasoning can be no more logical than Harry Reid said so. The body has the power to determine its members’ qualifications.The Senate has in rare cases inserted itself into elections, including a 1996 Louisiana race (where the senate overturned a tiny Republican victory by forcing a runoff) and a 1974 New Hampshire contest which the Democratic winner kept his small (10 vote) victory after the Senate, justifiably in this case, forced a re-vote.
Last week Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell voiced his opposition to the prospect of Senate involvement “I would hope that Washington partisans would refrain from injecting themselves into what is, by design, a nonpartisan process.” McConnell is right on when he talks about the the election process. The principal of the entire system depends on the Senate acting in an unbiased and responsible way. The Senate should simply choose the candidate who was rightfully elected in the first place, as shown on the state’s election certificate. Ah, but with the Democratic Party so close to that filibuster proof majority, it is doubtful that they will be unbiased and responsible, as Harry Reid so rarely falls into that category.
If Franken loses fairly, he will most assuredly go to the Senate, what will happen from there, well, here are some possibilities:
Franken may seek Senate’s help to win race
By Michael O’Brien
Al Franken’s (D) campaign may ask the Democratic-led Senate to intervene on his behalf to allow some disqualified absentee ballots to be counted in his quest to unseat Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.).
Franken attorney Marc Elias made the case to reporters Monday that as many as 1,000 absentee ballots were improperly disqualified and that the Senate or the courts may need to step in to resolve the issue.
“No recount can be considered accurate or complete until all the ballots cast by lawful voters are counted,” Elias said of the recount that became necessary when only about 200 votes separated the two candidates on Nov. 4.
Minnesota’s Board of Canvassers ruled last Wednesday that it would not revisit the improperly disqualified ballots. The bipartisan board ruled unanimously that it did not have the authority to order that the ballots be reviewed and counted.
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. He added that the campaign would appeal to the Board of Canvassers, courts or the U.S. Senate to ensure those ballots are counted. Last week, Elias had indicated that the campaign would not directly appeal the board’s ruling.
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” last week, fueling speculation that the Senate would explore the legality of the Minnesota recount’s results.
“If ultimately there is no remedy before the canvassing board or before the courts, then that is certainly an option,” Elias said of the Senate’s potential intervention in the election results.
“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.”
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s recount tally, Coleman leads Franken by 282 votes with 86 percent of the recount complete. In total, 5,623 ballots have been challenged, with the Franken campaign having challenged 67 more votes than Coleman’s campaign. The Franken campaign said it would announce withdrawn challenges later this week.
The Franken campaign maintained that Coleman only led by 73 votes, citing its tally, which includes determinations of a voter’s intent made by neutral observers. Those determinations are not final until certified by the Board of Canvassers, and are not included in the Secretary of State’s official tally.