The entire Senate Republican Conference signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today kindly asking him to stop thinking about provisionally seating Al Franken as the election contest in Minnesota is under way. Franken is currently ahead by 225 votes, but Norm Coleman is contesting the recount results.
Read the letter below.
Dear Senator Reid,
Last week, the world once again witnessed one of America's most respected and proud traditions: the peaceful transfer of power. This historic tradition is made possible by the trust and confidence of the American people that their voice has been heard and their votes counted. Although November's election is over, the people of Minnesota have not been able to determine which candidate won their contest for U.S. Senate.
The historically close election between Senator Norm Coleman and Al Franken has produced a count and a recount. The initial tally was won by Senator Coleman and during the course of the recount, several legal questions were raised that the state canvassing board was unable to address. As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune noted, "courts alone have the legal standing" to provide answers the Canvassing Board "lacked the authority" to answer.
Under Minnesota state law, the state cannot certify a winner until the contest is resolved in court. The contest is already underway and it is our hope that process will soon provide answers to the unresolved questions and ultimately finalize the results of this extremely close election.
It is with all this in mind that we urge you to reconsider recent statements indicating you would attempt to use the power of the Senate to seat Mr. Franken before Minnesotans are able to certify the election. Senate Republicans will actively oppose any Senate action that circumvents the will of Minnesotans or attempts to short-circuit any process that is designed to provide an accurate result.
The entire Senate Republican Conference stands firmly behind Senator Coleman and all Minnesotans who are working to provide the trust and confidence in this election that all voters deserve.