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Editorial: Will Minnesota ever have a senator again?

<ong>Six more weeks of winter?

This past Monday, Punxsutawney Phil, as he does every year, came up out of his hole and saw his shadow. This means, of course, that the most famous groundhog in the world has condemned us to six more weeks of winter.

This weekend seems to beg to differ, though. With highs in the mid-30s, with some days even reaching as high as 40, could Phil’s prediction be wrong? This is certainly unusually warm weather for typical February temps. Some Carleton students probably do not mind the change – subzero weather and windchills are enjoyable, but for only so long. However, we must not become complacent: Old Man Winter is not done yet, and we must not let this current string of March weather in February catch us off guard. Punxsutawney Phil is rarely wrong.

Even if six more weeks of winter are on the way, take advantage of this current warm-up. Go outside over mid-term break and soak up some of the sun. Even the hardiest of Minnesotans – whether we admit it or not – need a little extra sunshine during these long winters.So enjoy it while we have it.

Will Minnesota ever have a senator again?

This past Wednesday marked the fourth month since the 2008 election. For those Carleton students wondering whether the state of Minnesota is represented by a senator in Washington D.C. yet – whether incumbent Republican Norm Coleman or Democratic challenger Al Franken – the answer is no. The recount officially ended last month, with Franken leading Coleman by 225 votes, but the process is far from over. Yesterday, a three judge panel decided that Coleman will be allowed to bring in evidence that as many as 4,800 absentee ballots were wrongly rejected, and should be included in the recount.

At the same time, Al Franken has asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to issue an election certificate for the former Saturday Night Live writer so that he can begin to serve in Washington. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie have argued that they are unable to issue a certificate until Coleman’s lawsuits are over.

This has been a long and tiring process for Minnesotans, especially because it has put them in the national spotlight – in a less than positive outlook at times – for so long. The process has also been less than flawless – errors of election judges have been highlighted, and the debates between Coleman and Franken have been bitter. All Minnesota wants is for the process to finally be over, because regardless who wins, the state will have a senator in Washington D.C. At this point, given the state of the economy, and after four months of debate, that is all that matters.

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