By Matthew B. Zeidman
LOS ANGELES (RushPRNews / Hollywood Today) 1/6/08 â€“ Over the past decade, Americans have become increasingly used to tight political races being decided by lawsuits and recounts, and now this latest tradition threatens to rob Democrats of a key Senate seat as Congress starts its new session tomorrow.
After weeks of recounting and the mutual reintroduction of previously disqualified votes, Democratic comedian Al Franken was declared the winner of the hotly contested Minnesota Senate race Monday by a margin of 225 votes by the state canvassing board.
â€œI am proud to stand before you as the next senator from Minnesota,â€ Franken told reporters. â€œIâ€™m ready to go to Washington and get to work as soon as possible.â€
Republican Norm Coleman, the incumbent Franken defeated, is expected to challenge the results in court and delay the issuance of the election certificate. Without the certificate, Franken cannot take office.
The efforts of Al Franken, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and [New York Sen.] Chuck Schumer to steal this election and seat Al Franken despite not having an election certificate are unprecedented,â€ Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said in a statement. â€œI am confident that if the law is followed, Norm Coleman will be taking his rightful seat in the U.S. Senate.â€
With disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevichâ€™s Senate appointee, Roland Burris, already having his certification rejected Monday by Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson, a delay in Minnesota would leave the party with a 57-vote Senate majority, instead of the 59-vote majority originally anticipated.