Al Franken, the Democrat candidate for the Minnesota Senate seat that is still up in the air, just will not give up on trying to steal the election. Mark Elias, a Franken campaign lawyer, announced that election officials have "found" 12 "uncounted" ballots while "searching for 133 ballots gone missing during the hand recount in the urban center's 3rd ward, 1st precinct." These are ballots from uniformed and overseas voters that were "previously unopened and counted". The Franken campaign also said it would withdraw its challenges to 425 other ballots.
Franken claims that his campaign's internal count gives him a four-vote lead over Senator Norm Coleman, the Republican incumbent.
The Minnesota Secretary of State has issued an order that county election officials sort out absentee ballots into five categories. Franken's campaign is in favor of this plan because it might garner more votes for Franken. These votes are in the fifth category, which the campaign believes were "improperly disqualified". Not all counties have complied yet.
Per the Briefing Room, the campaign has "not seriously thought about options to order those ballots be counted, including lawsuits or appealing to the U.S. Senate." Franken previously announced, in November, that the Senate could decide the outcome of the election.
As Josh Kraushaar writes in Politico.com, Saxby Chambliss' win in the Georgia Senate race likely significantly reduced Democratic support in the Senate for Franken's cause:
The value of having Franken as the 59th Democratic vote would have to be balanced against the distracting and poisonous partisan battle that is likely to ensue from his selection — a clash that would dominate media coverage, force senators to take a tough vote and threaten the chamber’s ability to move forward on the Obama administration agenda.
Kraushaar quotes Vin Weber, former Republican Congressman from Minnesota, on this topic:
"Saxby’s reelection ends the 2008 election for all intents and purposes. With Norm Coleman having won the Minnesota recount, the enthusiasm for overturning the results of an election will deflate rapidly . . . . The Franken campaign’s hopes that Minnesota would be the 60th seat are no longer relevant, and I suspect that moderate Democratic voices in the Senate will begin pouring cold water on the Franken-Reid effort to drag this matter onto the floor of the United States Senate."
In Response To: MN-Sen Events v. 21.1
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