Minnesota: Democrats Push for Franken to Be Certified

Posted May 13, 2009 at 5:55pm

Democrats are pushing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) to sign an election certificate for the winner of the contested 2008 Senate race. The next phase of the recount legal challenge is scheduled to be argued before the state Supreme Court next month.

Democrat Al Franken’s campaign filed its legal brief earlier this week, in which they ask the court to order officials to sign his election certificate at the end of the recount trial. Under Minnesota election law, both Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (D) and Pawlenty must sign the election certificate before Franken is deemed the official winner.

A three-judge recount court ruled last month that Franken defeated Republican Norm Coleman in the 2008 Senate race recount — a decision that Coleman has appealed to the state Supreme Court. Coleman has also not ruled out appealing to the federal courts if necessary.

“We’ve asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to affirm the three judge panel and at the end of the state court process direct the governor and secretary of state to issue Al Franken a certificate of election,— Franken recount attorney Marc Elias said in a statement.

National Democrats are also pushing for Pawlenty to sign a certificate after the trial. Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a coalition of organized labor groups, has bought a billboard in St. Paul urging Pawlenty to sign the certificate so that Franken can be seated.