The recount in Minnesota for the race between incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and Council-endorsed Al Franken (D) is still underway – and seemingly far from over.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, two recent events have benefitted the challenger. They report,
Franken unexpectedly picked up 37 votes due to a combined machine malfunction and human error on Election Day that left 171 Maplewood ballots safe, secure but uncounted until Tuesday’s final day of recounting in Ramsey County.
In addition, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office,
asked local election officials to examine an estimated 12,000 rejected absentee ballots and determine whether their rejection fell under one of four reasons for rejection defined in state law. The Secretary of State’s office asked that ballots that were rejected for something other than the four legal reasons be placed into a so-called “fifth category.”
This is no guarantee that the ballots will be counted, but it is seen as a move that would benefit Franken, whose internal numbers show that the the candidates’ vote totals could be within 50 votes of each other. Official results show a difference of 303 votes – significantly higher than Franken’s internal numbers, but a tiny percentage of the more than two million votes cast.
The campaigns have challenged more than 6,000 ballots, moves which are sure to extend the fight for this seat beyond the date that all ballots are re-counted.
Know Minnesota well, and want the results county-by-county? Check out the recount on the Star Tribune’s website.