Franken-Coleman Race: After New Year's....
Due to my long expressed goal of being the one vote that puts Al Franken up over one of the slimiest Senators in Minnesota history, I'm following this story as closely as a Twins pennant race.
The upshot is that no answer will come before the new Congress is sworn in, and it doesn't look like an interim senator will be appointed immediately. That means the senate will start with 99 voting members.
"The state Canvassing Board on Tuesday scheduled a Jan. 5 meeting and its chairman said the panel's work could spill into Jan. 6 — the day the next Congress convenes.
Franken leads Coleman with an increasingly small number of ballots yet to consider. Franken finished the day up 47 votes, according to a preliminary report by the secretary of state's office."
The number may actually be 46 (Franken:1,211,936, Coleman:1,211,890), and although Coleman is fighting hard to check for so-called "double" votes in selected Franken strongholds that isn't likely to fly since it will trigger recounting the entire state all over again. The state Supreme Court sounds skeptical of his challenge.
In related news:
"Coleman's campaign disputed the allocation of some challenged ballots and called some of the board's rulings inconsistent. It said correcting the errors would have produced a 49-vote swing in Coleman's favor.
Franken's campaign has also brought to the board's attention some possible errors, which it says amounts to 43 potential votes in the Democrat's favor."
So that would be 47 (or 46) minus 49 would equal Coleman up by 3 (or 2), then add Franken's 43, you are back at Franken up by 40 (or 41)....
But the real game changer (and Strib buries this lead) will be the absentee votes (up to 1600 of them but no firm number), which both sides and the courts and the Secretary of State now all agree were wrongly not counted. Nobody knows what they are or who they voted for, they haven't even been opened yet.
Now as a personal note, I'm not saying I hate Coleman as a person, and in fact I'm sure he's a great guy (actually, I'm fairly sure due to first-hand accounts that he is NOT a great guy and in fact is kind of a sleaze-ball, but anyway), but that doesn't matter to me so much as that his entire political career has been built on dishonesty of his intentions, fake "bi-partisanship", and rank opportunism. And in the Senate his career has been built on carrying water for the Bush administration, doing it rather ineptly I should add. Ending Coleman's political career would be enough, but having Al Franken, although who may be a little rough around the edges, is a non-post-partisan Democrat, proudly in the "In Your Face" school of public discourse is a bigger bonus. Now I would like Franken to take a page from Paul Wellstone, who although uncompromising in his ideals was still able to work with others with a differing opinion. I am confident he will, and at a recent fundraiser here (before the election) he said he admired both Wellstone's and Hillary Clinton's (she was there campaigning for him) ability to do that.
*UPDATE* - Replaced the link for "rather ineptly...." to a "better" source.