Election Theft in Minnesota?

The Wall Street Journal in an Op Ed published on Monday, Funny Business in Minnesota, made the case that funnyman Al Franken is stealing the disputed U.S. Senate election from Senator Norm Coleman in Minnesota.  After the first count of ballots, Senator Norm Coleman retained a 215 vote lead, but the margin of victory triggered a mandatory recount of the election.  After a recount, Franken emerged with a 225 vote lead.  This controversy will be resolved by the Minnesota courts, yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already decreed, “Norm Coleman will never ever serve [again] in the Senate.”

The WSJ points to the following examples of how Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and his four fellow Canvassing Board members have delivered inconsistent rulings and are ignoring glaring problems with the tallies leaving the certified result in doubt:

  1. Franken picked up between “80 to 100 votes,” because duplicate ballots may have been double counted.  There is evidence that “25 precincts now have more ballots than voters who signed in to vote.”
  2. Franken gained 46 votes when the Canvassing Board decided to jettison the recount results from Hennepin County and substituted the election night results. 
  3. Franken gained 37 votes in Ramsey County where 177 more ballots were counted in the recount than were recorded on election night. 
  4. Franken gained 176 votes because of inconsistent consideration of contested absentee ballots.

Minnesota law does not allow a certification of the result until the court cases are resolved and the Senate should let this process work out in the Minnesota Courts.  A vote of the United States Senate to seat Franken without a certificate of election would prejudice any change Coleman has to win this case on appeal in Minnesota.  Of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already decided the case and declared that “Norm Coleman will never ever serve [again] in the Senate,” Reid told Politico’s Manu Raju. “He lost the election. He can stall things, but he’ll never serve in the Senate.”