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 todayâ€¦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 1,000â€³ 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.
“If ultimately there is no remedy before the canvassing board or before the courts, then that is certainly an option,” Elias said of appealing to the Senate.
I’m certainly not a legal eagle, but wouldn’t this present a serious conflict of interest to bring this issue to the Democrat-controlled US Senate, especially considering that a filibuster-proof Senate hinges on the outcome of this race and tomorrow’s Georgia Senate runoff? Any legal experts out there, help us out, please – I’d also like to know if, considering what to me is an obvious conflict of interest, if there are any other options that can and should be explored as an alternative to having the US Senate get involved.
The Minnesota Star-Tribune writes that Desperado Al has a “math problem” (really? Ya think?) and that it will be a serious uphill battle for him to be able to steal (my term) the election.
Meanwhile, in the other undecided Senate race, on the eve of the runoff a new poll shows incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss with a seven point lead over Democrat challenger Jim Martin. The campaign dollars are flooding into Georgia, and Chambliss has a surprising advantage over Martin. As far as political rematches go, history is on the side of Chambliss (h/t: Eve Fairbanks).
(Photo courtesy of the Star-Tribune via Power Line)