The Republican National Committee and the Coleman campaign released statements today calling Democrat Al Franken’s attempt to certify his Senate victory outrageous and underhanded. The RNC statement also claimed that Franken’s lead is artificial.
Franken claims that Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sec. of State Mark Ritchie are legally required to sign the document certifying his election. However, Ritchie said that the results can’t be certified yet, “Neither the governor nor I may sign a certificate of election in the U.S. Senate race until all election contests have reached a final determination. Even if the governor issues a certificate of election prior to the conclusion of the contest phase, I will not sign it.”
The Coleman campaign accused Franken of an, “underhanded attempt to blatantly ignore the will of Minnesotans and the laws of the state.” Mike Duncan chairman of the RNC said, “Al Franken’s outrageous attempt to seat himself in the U.S. Senate without an election certificate is an insult to Minnesotans and all those who believe in the rule of law. While Franken has unfairly been the beneficiary of double-counted votes, ‘missing’ ballots, and inconsistent standards regarding absentee ballots, he’s clearly concerned he will lose his artificial lead as this process moves forward.”
I think it is best for the state if they let this situation play out in court, before they certify a winner. This in uncharted territory for all involved, so it would be prudent to wait the court has ruled on Coleman’s challenge before allowing either candidate to assume the seat.
The Coleman argument hinges on double counted votes and inconsistencies in the rejection of absentee ballots, along with the counting of several found ballots. Unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the court will up hold the results of the canvassing board recount.
There is no doubt that Franken will be the Republicans most hated Democrat. I personally find Franken abrasive. His type of politics is not my cup of tea, but his style makes it possible that he could be even more hated by Republicans than Obama.
Instead of trying to get the election certified, Franken should sit back, and let it work itself out. When all is said and done, he will be the junior senator from Minnesota.