Minnesota Recount Ends, Well Sort Of At Least

By Doug Mataconis | Related entries in Minnesota, Senate

The recount in the Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken has ended and Norm Coleman still holds on to a razor thin lead, but it’s not over yet:

Like the election itself, the Senate recount has ended — except that it hasn’t.

At 11:29 a.m. Friday at the Wright County Government Center in Buffalo, state Elections Director Gary Poser pasted a sticker on one last challenged ballot and whispered, almost to himself: “We’re done.”

But not quite. Officials continued to search for 133 Minneapolis ballots that apparently are missing. And until those ballots are found or judged impossible to locate, the recount won’t be over, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Friday.

By mid-afternoon, Minneapolis officials had turned their elections warehouse inside out but failed to find the envelope containing the ballots.

Pending the fate of the missing ballots, the Star Tribune calculates that Republican Sen. Norm Coleman leads Democrat Al Franken by 192 votes — a margin 23 votes narrower than the 215-vote lead that Coleman was awarded by the state Canvassing Board just before the recount began Nov. 19.

The Secretary of State’s Office, leaving out the disputed precinct altogether, shows Coleman ahead of Franken by 687 votes.

The Franken campaign reached yet another conclusion — Franken ahead by four votes — by including a projection on 6,655 ballots challenged by both campaigns.

At this point, Franken is beginning to look foolish. Even if all of the missing ballots were to be unequivocal votes for Franken, which is unlikely, he would not be able to overcome Coleman’s margin. At this point, Franken has two choices — he can bow out with class or he can drag this race through the Courts or, worse yet, use Democratic strong-arm tactics in the Senate to force his way into the seat.

It’s up to you Al.


This entry was posted on Saturday, December 6th, 2008 and is filed under Minnesota, Senate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Minnesota Recount Ends, Well Sort Of At Least”

  1. Rob Says:

    go read what you block quoted again. There is nothing foolish about noting how the judges lean on disputed votes and predicting the outcome from that.

  2. Kelly Says:

    Whoa — is Franken just supposed to give up on the challenged ballots? Wouldn’t that be like shredding the votes of over 6,000 people? This thing isn’t over until they finish those challenges and make a determiniation on the missing ballots. Anything less than that is unfair to the voters. Isn’t that what elections are about — the will of the electorate?

  3. Ferinn Says:

    Also I wished Gore worked as half as hard as Franklin have to get every vote counted. He might of still lost at the end but sometimes these fights are needed to show how the system is broken and needs to be fixed & I know it’s a dream but a boy is allowed to have those.

  4. Mike B. Says:

    Motherf-

    There are thousands of challenged ballots to be reviewed, ballots which are likely to favor Franken, and he’s the one who looks foolish by not just giving up on a Senate term? One that he might not only be entitled to, but one which might reflect the wishes of the voters?

    Donklephant’s brief tenure on my subscription list is over. You guys are sad.

  5. colin Says:

    this was not a good post. if Nate Silver thinks the challenged ballots are worth waiting for, they’re likely worth waiting for. incidentally, he’s how you guys ended up on my g-reader in the first place.

  6. Justin Gardner Says:

    Colin,

    Nate linked to a post I wrote, but this is a different author. We have a lot of different voices on Donklephant, and not all of them agree with Nate. But that’s part of what makes the site interesting, and I hope you’ll continue to come back and engage in conversations about this and other topics.

  7. colin Says:

    I’d prefer it if the author just got it right. Perspective makes things interesting. Errors make things suck.

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