Where is Al?

Have you forgotten aobut the Minnesota Senate election?  I admit that I can go days without remembering that it is still not decided. 

A guy named Al Franken, a Democrat, is still leading Norman Coleman, a Republican and the incumbant, and they are still counting ballots under the direction of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The Court has ruled that Franken cannot be seated until all the ballots have been counted.  They have also refused to issue, or allow to be issued, a certificate of election saying that the U.S. Senate has the authority to seat a senator should they choose to do so.  Of course, the Democrats have already screwed themselves because they insisted on a certificate from the Secretary of State of Illinois before they would seat Roland Burris.  So Harry Reid can’t now decide to seat Al.

As I understand it, there are now about 1500 absentee ballots that are being examined to see if they can be counted.  They are looking at things like is a registration form included (Minnesota has same day registratiion), are the forms completed correctly and are the ballots marked property.  So far, there are 89 such ballots that will be examined further before being counted.

Eric Kleefeld is blogging about the Minnesota Election on TPM daily.  His most recent entry

In order to win, Coleman needs to expand the universe of countable ballots. But this expansion was much smaller than some expected, out of the 1,500 ballots that were searched. At his post-court press conference, Coleman legal spokesman Ginsberg boasted that the search “found between 100 and 150 that were wrongly rejected and should be put in. so that gives you an increasing idea that the universe of ballots with which we’re dealing continues to fluctuate.”

What Ginsberg is relying on is the addition of 72 more envelopes that had incomplete registration cards, and are unlikely to be included under the court’s strict standards for letting in new ballots — a point that the Coleman camp seems sure to appeal.

Two-thirds of the 89 came from pro-Coleman counties, but the sample of votes is by itself too small to provide much of a swing for him — and that’s assuming they do break for Coleman. It’s also likely that some of these envelopes will have other flaws with them, thus shrinking the pool even further.

I should also point out that even if Coleman gets all 89 votes which is not likely as some will be found to be flawed and some votes for Franken, he still cannot overcome the Franken lead of around 225 votes.

So eventually, it seems, the Senate Democrats will get their 59th vote.  And the drama of Minnesota will finally be over.  This saga could only happen to someone who used to be on Saturday Night Live.

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