I love the state of Minnesota. It has this warmth (I know it’s freezing there, I’m speaking metaphorically), and indelible charm that leaves a man awash in feelings of normalcy and peace. My visits there make me reflect upon my own childhood growing up in Connecticut, smelling the sweet winds whipping up over the water, and the familiar feel of kinship with the people there. I do enjoy my down time there. There is another reason that I’m drawn to the state. Minnesota is currently the home of one of the most hotly contested, strangest senatorial races in recent memory. Norm Coleman and Al Franken have been locked in a legal battle for the past 8 months to determine the other half of representation in the United States senate for the state of Minnesota. The election was razor thin, with Franken seemingly coming out on top by a mere 312 votes. Coleman disputes that, claiming that there were thousands of ballets that were not counted that could tip the results in his favor.
Since the election, the process has been dominated by attorneys from both camps, with Coleman not willing to give up his pursuit of the office. Currently, it stands with the supreme court of Minnesota, where a decision is looming. Most experts believe that the court will uphold the election results, and Franken will become the 60th democrat in the United States senate. Coleman has not ruled out the possibility of another appeal, this time to the highest court in the land. The governor of Minnesota however says that he will abide
by the state supreme court’s decision, and will certify Franken if he is declared the winner. I suppose this is the process that we all have to live by, but I can’t help but feel that the people in Minnesota have been cheated. Not only have they been deprived of equal representation in the senate, but the length and indeterminable outcome must leave some feeling empty. After all, some of those ballots may not be counted. That means that some people will not have a voice in this election.
It would be difficult for any of us to figure out how this election turned out to be this close, but as we saw in the 2000 presidential election, all things are possible in the political arena. Minnesotans deserve closure in this case. They demand representation, and they should be lauded for their patience in politics’ long-standing soap opera. I’m hoping that this is resolved by the time I take my next visit there. Then, I can listen to the locals spin their stories about this drama, while skipping stones on Mille Lacs Lake.