Oh my, the old pun machine is really cranked up today! The subject matter isn't quite as amusing to me, however.
Just think about the state (small "s" on purpose) of Minnesota. It nurtured some stalwarts of the political world in days past. Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Paul Wellstone. Whether or not you agreed with their politics, they all left an indelible mark. Then came Jesse Ventura and now Al Franken. Explain to me, please, what qualifies an alum of Saturday Night Live and a rather poor excuse of a talk show on Air America for the United States Senate?
It's no wonder Minnesota's best known small town is called Lake Wobegon! It's hard to grasp it's actually a fictitious place.
Let's get back to Mr. Franken. He is in a tight race against incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman. The race was so close a recount was automatic. I understand each wanting to win, I really do. I wonder, however, when scores of lawyers are being employed by both sides whether the ultimate victor will really be the "winner".
It seems like everything under the sun is being challenged. It has even been taken to the point where if a ballot has no mark for either candidate, it goes to "intent". Mr. Franken is demanding to know the names of those voters so they can personally be questioned. A judge has ruled that the candidates are entitled to those names.
Secret ballot elections are a fundamental American right. They ensure that everyone can vote their choice without peer pressure or harassment and that the choice of the majority prevails. That’s why we use private ballots to elect the president and members of Congress.
The concept has long been under assault by Unions; it should not be dismissed lightly. It's why the likes of Saddam Hussein can be elected with 100% of voters voting and 100% voting for him. It is a right we should fight for, not relinquish.
I leave categories blank on my ballots often. Sometimes I don't have enough knowledge to make an educated decision. Leave it blank. Sometimes I just plain don't like either candidate. I don't have "none of the above" to check off so leave it blank. How dare anyone, especially one of the candidates, question my "intent"! If I slipped up, it's my fault and the ballot should not be counted. Period.
I think the judge has set a dangerous precedent. Ill will is bound to follow, no matter how this sorry story ends. I can't put in print what I'd tell either camp if I were contacted with such a question.
The premise of the secret ballot makes ultimate sense. And it is no laughing matter.