Not a U.S. Senate decision

The State Canvassing Board recently decided to deny Al FrankenâÄôs request to factor properly rejected absentee ballots into MinnesotaâÄôs U.S. Senate race recount, and it subsequently became clear that Franken will use all of his resources to fight the election battle, including pushing for U.S. Senate involvement. Observers are discussing the possibility of U.S. Senate involvement in selecting a candidate based on their âÄúqualificationsâÄù âÄî a measure that was used in two prior senatorial elections. If the U.S. Senate becomes involved in the selection process, the fundamental principals of American politics will be jettisoned. The election process is a way for the public to elect a representative, not for a candidate to be selected by a conglomerate of elected officials. Having the Senate decide the outcome of the election is like letting the Regents of the University of Minnesota select a student body president. It would most likely end up being in their best interest, selecting the student who is most likely to follow their agenda. It would not be a fair representation of student opinion and would be unethical and undemocratic. Issues such as these continue to arise between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, who each seem to think they are on the losing side of a biased battle. Their incessant complaining about recount tactics has gotten excessive. That being said, Coleman should object to Senate involvement. In the past two elections with senatorial involvement, a 1996 Louisiana race and a 1974 New Hampshire contest , the Senate voted to accept the stateâÄôs election certificate and instate the official with the majority of votes according to the preceding recount. Considering the distinct possibility of a filibuster-proof Democratic majority, it would be foolish to think that partisan politics would not factor into the decision. Democrats need two more seats to obtain the 60 seats needed for a coveted filibuster-proof majority âÄî a position the Senate hasnâÄôt been in since 1977, under President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell voiced his opposition to the prospect of Senate involvement last Wednesday, stating, âÄúI would hope that Washington partisans would refrain from injecting themselves into what is, by design, a nonpartisan process.âÄù McConnell is wrong when he says voting is a nonpartisan process. The line between Republican and Democrat has become increasingly strict to the American public. As a Republican, McConnell may see and express his feeling through subjective lenses. McConnell does, however, hit the nail on the head regarding the election process. The principal of the entire system depends on the Senate acting in an unbiased and responsible way. The Senate, if indeed acting responsibly, will simply choose the candidate who was rightfully elected in the first place, as shown on the stateâÄôs election certificate. The question is: Why even have them vote on it? Bypass the possibility of an impartial system and select the candidate who was rightfully elected. Robert Downs welcomes comments at [email protected]