After the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected a request to count an additional 650 absentee ballots, the attorneys for Sen. Norm Coleman vowed to fight on despite the fact that Democrat Al Franken is likely to be certified the winner of the Senate election.
Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak is framing the challenge as a battle for the disenfranchised voters of Minnesota, “Given our campaign’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that the vote of no Minnesotan is disenfranchised, today’s ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court is both disappointing and disheartening. The fact that the Franken campaign now rejects the notion of every valid vote being counted so they can attempt to declare victory on the basis of a broken process, and an artificial lead built on double counting of votes should concern all Minnesotans.”
He also confirmed that Coleman plans to legally challenge the election results, “Today’s ruling, which effectively disregards the votes of hundreds of Minnesotans, ensures that an election contest is now inevitable. The Coleman campaign has consistently and continually fought to have every validly cast vote counted, and for the integrity of Minnesota’s election system, we will not stop now. The Minnesota Supreme Court has made sure that an election contest will need to be filed quickly in order to ensure that an accurate and valid recount can be achieved.”
It is extremely unlikely that Norm Coleman will win any legal challenge of this election, but any candidate that loses by such a small margin is obligated to pull out all the stops. It is fascinating that once Coleman was trailing, he became interested in the disenfranchisement of hundreds of voters in his state.
Their concerns are more than a tad hypocritical considering that the Republican Party has turned disenfranchisement as an election strategy. Franken will likely be certified as the winner, but it is certain that the legal battle over this seat will continue. The big question is whether the Republicans will block Franken being seated as they have promised to do.
Update: Franken has just been certified as the winner of the election by the Minnesota canvassing board. Let the lawsuits begin.