Budgeteer's Our View: Jan. 11
Elections are never perfect. With so many people involved in the process -- including thousands of election judges -- is it any wonder that some unintentional errors will occur on Election Day and during the tabulation of votes?...
Elections are never perfect. With so many people involved in the process -- including thousands of election judges -- is it any wonder that some unintentional errors will occur on Election Day and during the tabulation of votes?
The recent vote recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and DFL challenger Al Franken is a case in point.
No one with any common sense has alleged that there was fraud in the vote-counting process. Errors? Sure. But fraud -- for which Cook County, Ill., is well known -- is not an issue in Minnesota.
Vote recounts are nothing new to the Gopher State. Some readers will recall the agonizing recount in the 1962 governor's race involving GOP incumbent Elmer L. Anderson and his DFL challenger, Lt. Gov. Karl Rolvaag. After a time-consuming recount -- which, like the current contest, involved the courts -- Rolvaag was declared the winner by 91 votes. The new governor took his oath of office 139 days after the election.
Today, thanks to election laws that were revised in light of the 1962 contest, Norm Coleman announced a few days ago that he will challenge, in the courts, the declaration that Franken won the contest by about 250 votes.
Is Coleman's court challenge obstructionist?
Minnesota law clearly gives him the right (and perhaps the obligation) to further pursue the issue.
Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson said Tuesday that Coleman should skip the court challenge and concede the election. That's a little premature.
For now, we should be patient while Coleman takes his case to the courts.
But we also know that, in legal actions, a challenger can drag things on for too long. So, for now, we urge Coleman to pursue his challenge that Franken's tentative victory is questionable. But, if in a month or two Coleman appears to be stymied, we hope he'll give it up and live to run for public office again.
During these troubling times, Minnesota desperately needs two members in the U.S. Senate. Any undue delay in the current challenge would leave the state shorthanded in that legislative body, and that's simply not acceptable.