Coleman: “Court’s going to have to reflect on” do-over election

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Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman said the judges hearing his contest of Minnesota’s statewide recount are “going to have to reflect on” whether a do-over election is needed. Meanwhile, Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele accused Al Franken of “stealing Norm Coleman’s U.S. Senate seat,” and Franken’s lawyers began to make their case in court, with witnesses whose signature mismatches were straight out of a Sherlock Holmes story.

The fullest account of what Coleman said in the corridor outside the courtroom is in the Pioneer Press:

“The number of illegal ballots may far exceed the difference between the candidates, and how the court resolves that, I don’t know,” Coleman told reporters. “Whether we can clean this up and whether we can sort it out, I can’t tell you right now.”

Asked whether one solution may be to redo the election — a possibility one of his attorneys raised in a letter to the judges — Coleman said: “In the end, I think, that’s something folks have to think about. … The court is going to have to reflect on that.”

Coleman’s statements came a day after his attorney wrote to the judges that one remedy is to “set aside the election.” (Franken’s attorneys’ response: “Pshaw.”)

Actually it’s surprising Republicans would even consider letting Franken off with a simple do-over when they’ve got the goods on him. According to a Monday fund-raising letter from RNC Chair Steele, Franken is “stealing Norm Coleman’s U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota.”

Among Franken’s accomplices in that theft, apparently, are the 23 ordinary voters who testified Tuesday during the Democrat’s first day presenting his case in the election contest trial.

A common thread to their stories of electoral woe: mismatched signatures. Several explained they regularly use two different signatures — one for when they’ve got plenty of time and another “hurry-up” version.

The election officials who rejected those ballots clearly haven’t been reading enough Sherlock Holmes lately. From “The Man with the Twisted Lip“:

“And you are sure that this is your husband’s hand [writing]?”

“One of his hands.”

“One?”

“His hand when he wrote hurriedly. It is very unlike his usual writing, and yet I know it well.”