Franken calls for forensic search of church to find missing ballots

When Al Franken said he wanted every vote counted, he wasn't joking. Seriously. His campaign is calling for a "forensic search" and investigation of the church that was used as a polling place on Election Day where they say 133 ballots went missing. He is definitely on a rampage to track down those votes in a precinct near the University of Minnesota that most likely voted heavily Democratic. Norm Coleman's campaign is calling Franken's statement "out of control".

We really can't make this stuff up. We could only imagine being this clever.

Here are some excerpts from Franken's release:

Franken lead recount attorney Marc Elias:
"These ballots must be found. The outcome of this election is at stake. But let me be clear: The integrity of this election is also at stake, as is the integrity of Minnesota's electoral process. We won't stand for the disenfranchisement of 133 Minnesota voters, and neither will the people of this state. Find the ballots."

The Franken campaign released a list of steps that should be taken to find the missing ballots:
  • Interview every person who worked at the precinct on Election Day, every person who had a role in setting up or cleaning up at the church that served as a polling place, and every person who touched or transported the ballots either on Election Day or at any point between then and now.
  • Conduct a systematic forensic search of the church that served as a polling place, any vehicle used to transport ballots or other elections materials, the warehouse where the ballots were stored.
  • At the warehouse, catalog every envelope containing ballots.
  • Review all precinct and polling place documentation, and all email or other communications relating to this precinct and this polling place.
  • Establish a clear chain of custody noting exactly where these ballots were at every moment from Election Day until they were lost.
Coleman's response? Probably laughter. Here is what the state GOP had to say in their release:

Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Ron Carey today called the Franken campaign's decision to call for a forensics investigation of a Minneapolis Church "both offensive and completely out-of-control" and asked for the campaign to stop its harassment of Minneapolis election officials and Church officials.

"Today's demand from the Franken Campaign that government authorities invade the University Lutheran Church Of Hope, essentially cordoning it off and conducting a forensics search, is both offensive and completely out-of-control. At what point does the Franken campaign simply conduct itself in this recount with some semblance of dignity? Demanding that the government invade a place of worship--and require taxpayers to foot the bill for that invasion--is bizarre and repulsive. In addition to a loud slap in the face of local election officials, the Franken campaign's demand for information on the administrator of the church is simply tantamount to government-sponsored persecution.

The Franken campaign has routinely questioned the integrity of local Minnesota election officials who are doing their civic duty and helping out with the recount efforts, and today's demands from their campaign should be rejected by all Minnesotans who value the way in which we conduct ourselves and elections in this state."

Those Lutherans. We always thought they were up to no good.