Election lawsuits - Jay Maynard

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Wednesday, 6 November 2002

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0623 - Election lawsuits

I expect a few lawsuits in the coming weeks over the election, and maybe one with real merit: the election in Arkansas, where the polls were first ordered to remain open for two and a half hours after their scheduled close, and then the ruling was overturned.

I don't expect one in Minnesota, though. The handling of absentee ballots was controversial, but in the end it wouldn't have made any difference: As I type this, with 86% of precincts in, Coleman is leading by just under 71,000 votes. The Minnesota secretary of state is tabulating absentee votes cast for Wellstone, and there are 6174 of them. (Side note: for most of the night, Wellstone was getting more votes than the Green Party candidate.) Even if every one of those were to vote for Mondale, it wouldn't change the outcome.

It's possible the Democrats will sue here anyway, claiming that some Coleman voters would switch to Mondale if they had the option, but I doubt that argument would get much of anywhere, and they'd only hurt themselves worse by doing so. (Minnesotans apparently hate sore losers.) Coming on the heels of the Wellstone memorial political rally, it could bury the party here for years.

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