Monday, November 10, 2008

Minnesota Senate Race Update

The Minnesota Senate race is the closest in that state's history and easily the tightest in the country this year and the latest count has Democrat Al Franken within 221 votes of catching Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

Minnesota state law mandates a total recount for races with such a close margin.

The current status is that each of the state's counties is conducting a thorough review of the election results and all of those are expected to have their results certified by November 11. The Minnesota Canvassing Board will certify each county's election results on November 18 -- at which point the Minnesota Secretary of State will begin the full recount, which is expected to take several weeks.

Why so long?

Every single vote will be recounted by hand -- remember Florida in 2000? As many as four people will examine each ballot, with the county election judges doing the recounting and representatives from each campaign standing by as witnesses.

“The process of humans creating errors is the same wherever you are on the planet,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. “We’ve built a system that people trust, and that reputation includes being able to administer very large recounts very accurately, and put transparency and accuracy as a top priority in the system.”

And I don’t know if every Republican has a chip implanted in them by the RNC that makes them automatically want to stop votes from being counted, but Coleman is up to the GOP's old tricks of trying to stop the counting of all ballots. Fortunately, a Ramsey County judge on Saturday ruled against Team Coleman in their bid to stop the counting of all Minnesota ballots legitimately cast on election day but that did not reach county offices by midnight that day due to overwhelmed poll workers falling behind schedule.

In other words, there's no question they are legitimate votes but, if you're a Republican, you use any technicality you can to keep them from being counted.

Here's a Franken campaign press conference that explains it better than I can:

Let's see what Coleman's crew comes up with next.