Election 2008 still isn’t over.   At least not for Minnesotans. Incumbent Senator Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken are battling each other in a recount that doesn’t seem to end.   In question now are absentee ballots that may or may not have been unfairly rejected on election night.   The Coleman campaign, citing the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause, says they shouldn’t be counted until there is a uniform process for counting them.   I absolutely agree.   One county shouldn’t be using a different set of standards to count ballots than another county is using.

Today, we received some more news. From CNN:

Minnesota’s Supreme Court Thursday barred officials from including rejected absentee ballots in the recount of the state’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race unless both of the candidates and elections officials agree the ballot was improperly rejected.

What are the odds both of the candidates agree on which ballot to count and which one not to?   And this question begs another.   How long will this last?   And will there be a victor come 3 January when the new Congress is sworn in?   One possibility in this mess: Article I, Section 5, Paragraph 1 of the U.S. Constitution:

Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.

Emphasis mine.   So the Senate has the power to intervene in the Coleman/Franken race.   Will they?

Oh, and as an aside, a recount is one very strong reason why we shouldn’t popularly elect the president.   A national recount in a close election would be a nightmare.   But this is a discussion topic for a different day.