Franken wants recount to continue until he wins

Ed Morrissey updates us on the Minnesota senate race and the failed efforts of Al Franken to have rejected ballots that were not originaly counted to be tallied.

And why were these ballots rejected? Some people voted for both candidates. Others were not signed as required by law of all absentee ballots. Still others made no selection at all or their intent was unclear.

No matter. Al Franken wants to keep the recount going until enough votes are found or stolen to give him the election. And he's willing to go to court and perhaps all the way to the Senate itself to make sure that happens:

Minnesota's U.S. Senate showdown is veering down a path toward the courts and possibly the Senate itself after a panel's ruling on rejected absentee ballots dealt a blow to Democrat Al Franken's chances.

For the first time, his campaign on Wednesday openly discussed mounting challenges after the hand recount involving Franken and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman concludes. That includes the possibility of drawing the Senate into the fracas.

The state Canvassing Board denied Franken's request to factor absentee ballots rejected by poll workers into the recount. He sought to overturn the exclusions in cases where ballots were invalidated over signature problems or other voter errors. Coleman's campaign maintained the board lacked power to revisit those ballots.

Franken entered the recount trailing Coleman by 215 votes out of 2.9 million ballots. As of Wednesday night, Coleman was up 292 votes, including results from Nov. 4 and recounted ones.

There are 12,000 absentee votes that were rejected - Secretary of State Ritchie (D) says some were set aside for illegitimate reasons - as well as another 5,000 or so that are being challenged. But the law matters little if the subjective examination of the votes can be finagled to give him the election.

Failing that, Franken has a friend in Harry Reid:

The board's decision drew a response from the Senate's top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, who called it a "cause for great concern."

"As the process moves forward, Minnesota authorities must ensure that no voter is disenfranchised," Reid said in a statement. "A citizen's right to have his or her vote counted is fundamental in our democracy."

The Senate has in rare cases inserted itself into elections, including a 1996 Louisiana race and a 1974 New Hampshire contest. The body has the power to determine its members' qualifications.

If all else fails, Franken can get Democrats in the Senate to name him Senator no matter what the vote totals are.

Imagine a scenario where the Democrats win the Georgia runoff on December 2. That would give them 59 members - one short of a filibuster proof majority. That would put a whole different spin on any challenge Franken would bring before the new Senate next January.  A decision in his favor by Senate Democrats (it would take a simple majority to certify Franken the winner) is not impossible - especially if Franken can weep about "disenfranchised" voters.

I wouldn't put it past Reid or any other Democrat to pull an undemocratic stunt like that.