Last week, this Editorial Board called for Al Franken and Norm Coleman to restrain further politicking while officials progress toward a recount. The prospect of silencing Franken and Colemans bitter back-and-forth battle proved too alluring. But our call fell upon deaf ears.
The Franken campaign filed suit against Ramsey County Thursday to attain the names and addresses of absentee voters whose ballots were rejected. Franken currently down 206 votes is clearly trying to get any potentially valid ballots into the recount. Its political and its strategic, but its not that shady. Currently ahead, Coleman stands to benefit by casting doubt on our system. Hes making a stink about every strong-arm Franken employs: This is a new low, Colemans campaign manager charged. This tactic is designed to shove more rejected ballots into the ballot box before the recount takes place.
Fortunately, well insulated from the Franken-Coleman crossfire, the recount process presses on. Despite Bill OReilly painting another Florida 2000, our Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has just appointed the five-member canvassing board which will certify the recount. It includes two Pawlenty judicial nominees. Too busy bloviating about Ritchies partisan corruption, OReilly overlooked a key statement by Colemans lead lawyer: The people of this state should feel good about whos on the panel.
Certainly, some national media will unduly discredit our system, some challenge will inevitably find its way to the courts and the campaigns will rage on. Elections this close get messy, but take heart, Minnesotans. Stay above the politicking and white noise; its clear we have a quality system laid out.