Recount that nasty race?

Sen. Norm Coleman proclaimed during an early Wednesday morning news conference that âÄúYesterday, the voters spoke. We prevailed. âÄú But ColemanâÄôs unduly certain tone flies in the face of Minnesota law, which automatically triggers a vote recount if the margin of victory is less than one-half of one percent (M.S. 204C.35 ). According to the unofficial state tally, Coleman leads DFLer Al Franken by less than 500 out of more than 2.9 million ballots cast. Coyly slamming Franken for the recount, Coleman quipped, âÄúIt’s up to him whether such a step is worth the tax dollars it will take to conduct.âÄù Technically, Senator Coleman is right: By state law, the candidate with fewer votes going into the recount can sign a waiver calling it off. He went on to claim he would âÄústep backâÄù if he were in FrankenâÄôs position. But Franken has not initiated this recount by any stretch of the imagination. He hasnâÄôt filed suit or petitioned the secretary of state. Quite the contrary: Franken is lawfully and civilly complying with Minnesota law in a razor-thin election that Minnesotans deserve to end with utmost accuracy. John Aiken, the Minnesota secretary of stateâÄôs director of communications explained, âÄúOne-half of one percent is 15,000 votes. We are looking at a couple hundred, here.âÄù Coleman should not only refrain from declaring victory but also hold his tongue âÄî obviously still lashing in campaign mode âÄî until the recount determines an official tally. This process must remain as clean as possible. Now that campaigning is through, Minnesotans from Apple Valley to Zimmerman can breathe a much anticipated sigh of relief. If Sen. Coleman is truly confident in his victory, he should keep quiet. ItâÄôs doubtful any Minnesotan wants to get caught in the crossfire of that campaign again.