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A real clown takes a Senate seat

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 5, 2009 10:23 AM

It’s all but official: A professional Democrat clown will join all the amateur ones already in the Senate.

Al Franken is going to Washington:

Democrat Al Franken will be declared the winner of the tight U.S. Senate contest in Minnesota, emerging from a ballot recount with a slim margin over Republican Norm Coleman, state officials said on Sunday.

But Coleman, the incumbent, has asked Minnesota’s supreme court to require that a few hundred additional absentee ballots be included in the recount — and he could then ask the court to investigate the contest all over again.

“At the moment, Franken has a 225-vote lead,” after the weekend counting of what were deemed the last uncounted absentee ballots, said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat who oversaw the process.

Ritchie said unless the supreme court acts on Coleman’s request and orders more ballots to be counted, he will reconvene the state’s Canvassing Board on Monday to certify Franken as the winner of the November 4 contest.

Coleman’s campaign intends to do just that, but Minnesotan Ed Morrissey at Hot Air notes:

His best bet may be the inconsistencies in challenge resolutions and the lack of a statewide, uniform standard in addressing the absentee ballots. Even that may not help much at this point, though. According to Coleman’s team, up to 1,000 absentee ballots should have been included instead of excluded, but gaining 225 votes out of 1,000 ballots will be a tall order — although not impossible, as Franken gained 200 out of the 935 absentee ballots they did count. Ballot challenge inconsistencies will have less of a chance, as those are inherently subjective and the court will give the Canvassing Board the widest possible latitude.

In the end, a dead heat winds up getting decided by the incompetence of individual voters who under any other circumstances would not matter at all. That’s what we had here.

May Minnesotans get what they deserve.

***

WSJ spotlights the funny business in Minnesota:

Minnesotans like to think that their state isn’t like New Jersey or Louisiana, and typically it isn’t. But we can’t recall a similar recount involving optical scanning machines that has changed so many votes, and in which nearly every crucial decision worked to the advantage of the same candidate. The Coleman campaign clearly misjudged the politics here, and the apparent willingness of a partisan like Mr. Ritchie to help his preferred candidate, Mr. Franken. If the Canvassing Board certifies Mr. Franken as the winner based on the current count, it will be anointing a tainted and undeserving Senator.

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