After a long series of recounts, challenges, etc., the Minnesota Board of Canvassers has certified the election of comedian Al Franken to the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. Stuart Smalley is in! Anticipating this result, the Wall Street Journal tells its readers that it’s all a fix: “Strange things keep happening in Minnesota,” reads the editorial in a hushed voice over a sinister theremin, “where the disputed recount in the Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken may be nearing a dubious outcome.” The Journal says that double-counting by election officials has “by some estimates” yielded Franken up to 100 votes; also, the Canvassers asked candidates for a list of rejected ballots before Norm Coleman was ready, etc. This is all especially funny if you remember the equanimity with which the Journal accepted that all those Palm Beach Jews voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000. The current Republican plan is to bring lawsuits and act as if, by accepting the certification, Franken is engaged in some sort of coup.
(Update: Senate Democrats have locked Coleman’s office, apparently to keep him from squatting. Coleman outlines his plan to steal back the election here.)
(Update II: Governor Pawlenty won’t issue an election certificate, and the seat stays empty until the legal challenges have run their course.)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 5, 2009